Bridgewater students form green task force

Do you really have to take a 15-minute shower? What about that cardboard box you’ve thrown into the trash – is it recyclable?

And that cigarette butt that’s been tossed onto the ground…isn’t that toxic litter?These are some questions and issues Bridgewater College students are tackling as they form a task force dedicated to improving environmental conditions and education on campus. Students are banding together for brainstorming and action-planning with a goal of not only furthering Bridgewater College’s environmental goals, but also of giving students a framework for responsible environmental lifestyles beyond the college campus.

“Right now we recycle paper, cardboard and one or two plastics, but there is a great need for more recycling and other stewardship activities,” said Tyler Goss, a sophomore from Mechanicsville, Va., who is helping organize the BC Environmental Task Force. “Perhaps even more important than recycling is reducing and reusing – concepts we want to make students more aware of.”

Goss said the new task force is not the only group at Bridgewater College focusing on the environment, but that it is the only largely student group dedicated exclusively to the environment. He said its goal is to work with existing groups and to be “active” in its environmental pursuits.

“That means actually helping implement good ideas for environmental stewardship, such as increasing the number and quality of recycling bins on campus, or picking up cigarette butts and piling them outside the Kline Campus Center as a sort of visual reminder that this is toxic trash – and that smoking is bad for you,” Goss said. “It means putting up a sign in the shower that says, ‘If you take a five-minute shower, you will save this amount of water.’ It means taking an active role in improving the environment at Bridgewater.”

Goss said the task force hopes to organize an Earth Week next year in which different groups on campus will take a day of the week and raise an environmental issue that they are interested in, such as water conservation, recycling and how to save money by using environmentally friendly technologies.

“While we hope to eventually have an impact campus-wide,” he said, “we want to start with the students and educate them so that when they leave college they’ll know how to take care of the environment.”

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