“We’ve already had a lot of good feedback on the program,” said Waste Reduction and Reusables Coordinator,  Julia Olson.

“We’ve already had a lot of good feedback on the program,” said Waste Reduction and Reusables Coordinator,  Julia Olson.

Students can rent tumblers, pint glasses, or mugs for three hours with the new Student Sustainability Center Reusables Program, located in the Erb Memorial Union.

Students can rent tumblers, pint glasses, or mugs for three hours with the new Student Sustainability Center Reusables Program, located in the Erb Memorial Union.

Student Sustainability Center Reusables Program

By Christa Huddleston

What is the SSC reusables program? “The SSC reusables program is a new pilot program that we’re developing and rolling out during winter term of 2019 to provide students with more reusable options in the EMU to try and get away from single-use plastics. The EMU creates a lot of waste just due to the high volume of people that come through and the amount of food venues that they have going.”



Why should students participate? “It’s impossible at this point to not care about the environment. A lot of times people say oh me having this one cup won’t make a huge difference. We’re not advocating that it’s the consumers’ fault for all the plastic waste in the world, I definitely think that’s on the commercial side. But if you can do it, why not? That’s kind of what we’re preaching. They may be small things, but if you can do things even to make just a small difference, and it’s at no cost to you, it doesn’t affect your daily life in any negative way, then why not do it? Also, retailers in the EMU give discounts for reusable containers, Jamba Juice and Starbucks specifically. And other places like Townshend's and the Fresh Corner Market also accept reusables.”


How can students participate? “Basically we’ve got mugs, tumblers, and pint glasses for students. They can come in, check it out at our station, and then they have 3 hours to use the reusables, get a smoothie at Jamba Juice or coffee at Starbucks or some kombucha at Townshend’s, and then bring it back to us. Then we’ll clean it and put it back in rotation for other students to use. We’re just looking to reduce waste in the EMU, that’s basically our whole prerogative for this project. And also just give students a chance to live more sustainable lives in very simple ways.”