Last week was #ChangeMakers week on campus. Our office has focused a lot on the social issues when it comes to change: LGBTQ rights and issues, hunger and homelessness, diversity, economic inequality, women’s rights, struggling veterans, and more. However, this #ChangeMakers week had a focus on environmental sustainability. Many students have been very active on making our campus more eco-friendly.
According to Statista, consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products. The percentage has gone up from 35%in 20111 to 42% in 2014. Not only are consumers more willing to pay more for eco-friendly products, but students are more willing to take part in great campaigns for social change.
SGA has been putting a lot of effort into this initiative through their Civic Engagement and Sustainability Committee. They’ve been pushing for more eco-friendly staples to our campus such as more water bottle refill stations. “We want to help our school to become more environmental conscious,” says SGA Senator Tran Nguyen who spearheaded a campaign on campus to implement just this.
Objective: Implement more eco-friendly paper goods on campus: toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, etc.
Strategy: Test out the eco-friendly toilet paper made of farmer’s wheat in the toilets in the library, and see if it would be accepted across campus.
Goal: Use this wheat-based recycled paper across campus and promote environment sustainability.
“We switched our original toilet paper, which made out of 20% virgin tree fiber, to Scott Bathroom Tissue made with 20% wheat straw fiber. Both are coreless bathroom tissue that fit in our existing dispensers. Plus, no difference in cost would occur in this change”, – Tran Nguyen, SGA Senator.
The infographic above explains what kind of paper is used in this campaign. It comes from “rapidly renewable” materials: 20% wheat fiber and a small percentage of recycled and virgin tree fiber. Not only is it rapidly renewable, but it also reduces farmland waste and enhances the value of farmer’s crops.
“Wheat straw is currently a waste product after harvest, thus, putting them to good use reduce the carbon footprint they can leave as well as reduce landfill waste. Wheat meets the U.S Green Building Council’s definition of “rapidly renewable” materials. Shorter harvesting cycle reduces the amount of land needed to support demand”, Nguyen says.
To ensure that this type of paper is utilized on campus, please fill out this survey.