It is hard to believe that classes started exactly one month ago. The time flies, and the signs of sleep deprivation are apparent in more than a few sets of eyes. Here at Envirolutions, in our first few weeks we have hashed out our club goals for the upcoming semester, and have managed to solidify an intended plan through brainstorming future projects we are interested in.
At our first meeting of the semester, we had a great turnout of new members, all eager to share ideas. We were able to map out projects that students showed interested in pursuing.
Immediately, an idea for a materials recycling station was brought up. Similar to RISD’s Second Life, members thought that it would be a great fit at Pratt for us to have a place students could bring their unneeded and unused materials and trade them for those that are needed. All of us have materials lying around that we haven’t touched since that one professor made us buy them for that one project… And what student would rather pay retail price for a material, when in reality they don’t need too much of it in the first place?
We found out that a program similar to this, called Pratt City, is actually coming to Pratt through the Pratt Incubator. It will be a monetary system, in which you will get paid for your reusable supplies, and then you can also buy products that you need for much less than retail. Not only does this program cut down on the amount of materials that are thrown away at the end of each year by students, but it can put some extra money in your pocket by getting rid of materials you have just laying around.
As to be expected with Envirolutions after our huge success last year, we discussed recycling. Last year, Envirolutions introduced ten recycling bins around Pratt’s campus that were initially effective. Coming back this semester, it seems that the green bins have lost a bit of their impact, with the peeling letters due to weather and use, and perhaps less information readily available for students who are unsure of how to recycle. In the cafeteria and the Pi Shop, new garbage containers are present, with slots designated for waste, glass, and plastic. What about paper recycling though? We wonder if students know what materials they can place in the plastic and glass recycling even in the case of contact with food products.
Envirolutions as a club has decided to focus on interior recycling for our next endevor, focusing specifically on classrooms and studios, and within departments. How often have you walked by a trash bin in studio and have found seeming usable scraps of material, but then, to your become disappointment, find it covered in someone’s food waste and now unworkable? When is the last time you looked in one of those large gray barrels and found usable scrap material that for some reason was overlooked and thrown away in the first place? Any attempt to reduce your waste production and increase your effort to recycle and reuse materials is a step in the right direction for not only Pratt and art students, but for everyone.
Although we have chosen to focus on recycling this semester, ideas of urban farming, composting, energy conservation, and divesting all came up with great interest. If you are interested in one of these programs and would like to be involved, or if you would like more information, please feel free to contact us through our Facebook page or even stop by one of our meetings on Thursdays at 12:30pm in CSDS!