Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Earthlust has kept a relatively low profile this semester, cleaning up the school’s act in small ways rather than launching any major campaigns. Marshall Morales ’08, coordinator of the Campus Greening campaign, describes their goals as “rather simple.”
Signs have been posted on every recycling bin and trash can on campus clearly stating what use they’re intended for. Morales praised Jeff Jabco, Director of Grounds for the Scott Arboretum, for being “really supportive” of this effort. Next semester, Morales hopes to place cigarette urns outside of dorms “so we don’t have to step on cigarette butts anymore” and more outdoor recycling bins and trashcans all over campus.
The indoor recycling situation varies between academic buildings. Science Center has built-in recycling receptacles, but in places like Trotter or Kohlberg, “containers get dragged off to nobody knows where… and we don’t have a comprehensive list of where they should all be.”
Morales has also discussed lighting on campus with Ralph Thayer, Director of Maintenance. Entire buildings are frequently left with lights on at night when “it’s a simple matter of remembering to turn the lights off,” and Earthlust hopes to conserve this wasted energy.
Earthlust has also talked to the college bookstore about stocking drying racks and more energy-efficient lightbulbs, and Kavita Hardy ’08 has been working on getting styrofoam out of Tarble. “They have a poster saying styrofoam’s better up now,” explained Morales, “which cites an academic paper to prove its claims. When we did the research, we found the paper was complete bunk.”
“We’ve done a lot of green housekeeping this semester,” concluded Morales, “and the school’s been very receptive. We haven’t come across any major roadblocks.”