"we do make a difference — one way or the other. we are responsbile for the impact of our lives. whatever we do with whatever we have, we leave behind us a legacy for those who follow." —stephen covey, author
RecycleMania is a ten-week contest that challenges colleges and universities across America to promote waste reduction on their campuses.
Boston College has been involved with RecycleMaina since 2005. See the RecycleMania website for more competition information and results.
February: NRG Games — Ever to Conserve
The campus-wide NRG Games, running throughout the month of February, encourage each hall to compete to conserve the most energy. Significant energy reductions have been witnessed during this time period, illustrating that students can do their part to help the environment simply by turning off some lights, taking a shorter shower, or lowering the heat.
Overall, Boston College residence halls has saved 44,139 killowatt hours of energy. This is the same as:
- Saving 63,118 lbs of carbon dioxide from being released into our atmosphere
- Taking 67 cars off of the road for one month
- Planting 9 acres of forest, which absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen
April: Earth Day
Earth Day is an annual event held at Boston College to celebrate the national holiday and create awareness about environmental issues on campus. There are tables with information on pressing issues such as recycling, energy conservation, vegetarianism, pollution, and waste.
Volunteers are crucial to the success of Boston College’s Earth Day, as they participate in Mt. Trashmore (see below), run a clothing swap for students to exchange clothes and/or donate them to Planet Aid, provide supplies for making t-shirts with environmental slogans, and help organize for students to pot their own plants. Earth Day is a way for students to come together to learn about and discuss environmental issues while celebrating the earth.
April: Mt. Trashmore
Mt. Trashmore is one of Boston College Earth Day's greatest annual attractions. It consists of one night’s worth of trash from Upper Campus, dumped on the Campus Green. Student and Facilities Management volunteers go through the trash to pick out material that could have been recycled In the past, volunteers have collected upwards of 30 bags of recyclables.
The purpose of Mt. Trashmore is to show students how much we waste every day and how much could be reduced, reused, or recycled. The hope is that by having such a demonstration, the BC community will become more conscious of what they put in the trash barrels and recycling bins. Mt. Trashmore would not be possible without the annual support of Facilities Management and Ecopledge volunteers.
April: Arts Fest
EcoPledge participates annually in Arts Fest with themed sculptures meant to educate the public on environmental issues. Past themes have focused on global warming and the faces of environmentalism.
October: Harvest Fest
Why wait until April to have Earth Day? For the past few years EcoPledge, the Undergraduate Government of Boston College, SustainBC, Real Food BC, and other organizations have hosted a fall version of Earth Day to further raise awareness on campus of the importance of conservation.
At Harvest Fest, students participate in a variety of activities, including a recycling challenge, potting grass in recycled cereal containers, and contributing ideas for a "what it means to be green" banner. SustainBC provids tips about green living and avoiding everyday toxins, and sample food from the Real Food BC organic garden was displayed in addition to information about eating sustainably and locally. A variety of educational posters are presented, and representatives of Massachusetts Power Shift (MAPS) often come to encourage activism and promote a stable, just energy future.
Following the fine example set by the Think Outside the Bottle campaign, Ecopledge held its own water taste-testing challenge, comparing tap with several kinds of bottled water. Under blind conditions, tasters often prefered tap water, and these results encourage the use of this free resource over expensive bottled water.
Not only do many people find tap water better tasting, but it is also a far more environmentally friendly option: bottled water consumes huge amounts of petroleum and other fossil fuels to produce and transport it, and it takes up enormous amounts of space in landfills.