The Eco-Reps program on campus is designed to spread awareness about sustainability and recycling. There are a total of four Eco-Reps including Zachary Howe, Dalton Blackwell, David Ievoli and Reilly Granger, and they will soon be putting up fliers to “show their faces” around campus, allowing people to know who they can talk to about sustainability and recycling.
Since this program is new to the campus, they introduced themselves at the freshman orientation. Catherine Wielgasz, leader of the program who coordinates the campus-wide recycling program, is in charge of recycling with freshmen.
“I know a lot of people are interested in that (recycling), but weren’t as interested as much because it was during orientation,” Wielgasz said, adding that orientation can be overwhelming and recycling initiatives might get a little lost.
Wielgasz’s First Year Seminar groups pledged to go green and made a poster, which is hanging up in the Campus Center. The Eco-Reps, during orientation, explained to FYS groups how going green helps.
By putting up fliers of the their faces, the Eco-Reps hope to energize students to recycle more. Each Eco-Rep is responsible for specific areas on campus dorms, and their fliers will be in those areas. They hope the fliers will spur conversations from students on recycling.
“The program is new and we are trying to get our faces out there so if people want to ask questions, they know where to go. We may not be experts in all resources, but we are all excited about learning more about any way to become more sustainable and are willing to help others do this as well,” Howe said.
The Eco-Reps say they want to help the community of Castleton understand sustainability and what roles students can do to accomplish this.
“Also we are hoping by getting our faces out there, or our ideas, other individuals will be able to do things they are interested in. If they have ideas or they can join our alliance also,” Howe said.
Howe is in charge of four residential buildings, Hoff, Ellis, Morrill and Wheeler halls. In Ellis Hall, he did a raising energy waste/consumption awareness last semester that morphed into a lesson of “what can and cannot be recycled?” Also, he elaborated on how to save water more efficiently and save energy in dorms. He used pizza rolls and juice and soda as examples, explaining how to properly dispose both of them.
Howe has other ideas for this semester, such as composting, reusable cardboard furniture and more events that will hopefully raise awareness of recycling and resource consumption around the area.
Blackwell is in charge of Babcock, Adams and Haskell halls. Last semester he held a recycling night in Babcock showing students the basics of recycling. Granger is in charge of Hoff and Haskell, but also recycles in the science and nursing buildings as well as the Public Safety building.
“Last semester, I personally went around taking a tally of people who recycle, what is most and least recycled, and how sustainable each dorm was. Each one was about even and both dorms are doing well on recycling. In the survey, the median number of how sustainable students thought Castleton was out of a 1- 10 was a 7. This is a pretty happy number because that tells us that students know they can do more to be sustainable yet they are already making a great effort, and that means they care,” Granger said.
Lastly, levoli is in charge of Glenbrook Gym, Castleton Hall and the three houses, Audet, North and South.
“I tried doing a cleanup of the woods last semester, but the snow hit early. This semester my project is to try and get the Coffee Cottage to compost on a small scale and spread sustainability in my buildings as well,” levoli said.
The Eco-Reps say be prepared after February break to the see fliers and to stop them and ask them a question or give some feedback.
“I hope others follow in the green footprint, the non-carbon footprint that we are currently leaving behind. The waste can only go so many places until it will be in our backyards. Reduce, reuse, recycle, compost, be sustainable,” he said.