Keene State will be a little more environmentally friendly once Hoot n’ Scoot and Lloyds switch from plastic to reusable bags on January 21st. This comes after two senior Eco-reps, Julia Yates and Madelyn Thomas created a written proposal for all dining outlets on campus to stop distributing plastic bags.
This comes about after a failed attempt to ban plastic water bottles on campus last summer. They then decided to do more research and found that plastic bags can be just as harmful as bottles.
This ban not only makes Keene more sustainable, but also improves the college’s standing with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) by earning Keene more points. The Equinox is glad that the school is making these changes but we hope it is more about the environment than making the college look better. Something that is disappointing is the fact that the Book store is not joining in on the ban, which is due to them not being under the same contract as the dining places.
Other than these things though, the Equinox is highly in approval of this change. One big reason is that it seems to be a win-win for everybody. First, the school saves money by not having to spend money on sending our recycling to outside bailing stations. Second, the program will also allow people the opportunity to donate bags if they have extras or allow people who don’t have a bag to pick one up easily.
Another benefit is that students with disabilities won’t have any extra issues due to the change and will have the option of extra re-usable bags put to the side for them. This also benefits recycling companies because their machines will no longer be broken by plastic bags (from Keene at least). The final and most obvious benefit is of course, our environment.
The Equinox also believes that the success of the two students was very impressive. It takes a lot of work to enact change in a community. But by voicing your opinion and asking for change, you can make a difference.
We are especially impressed by the fact it was just two students. If a small number of students can make this huge change at our school, imagine what 20 or 50 or 100 students could do. The story of these students should inspire others to speak up if they want to see change at Keene State. If you are unhappy with something you see in the administration, don’t be afraid to take a stand.