Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Recycler's Guide to the Holidays

This Holiday season why not do something for the environment and your wallet? WKU Recycling and Surplus want to tell you about upcycling. Upcycling is taking otherwise trash materials and creating them into something new and useful. Recycling and Surplus created an upcycled Christmas Tree for the holiday season.
To create this beauty it took only empty water bottles, soda cans, hot glue, and a few willing souls.


There are tons of neat ways to upcycle materials in your home to be used for this Christmas. An example I liked is taking old Christmas cards and cutting them into gift tags. It is a great way to save money and use something otherwise thrown out. Plus they look just as good if not better because they are original.

Another really cool idea is wrapping your gifts in newspaper or old maps you have lying around the house. It looks really unique in comparison to everyone else’s wrapping and it didn’t cost a thing out of pocket. Also you can wrap with an old phone book or brown or white paper and then decorate the box yourself. It can be designed specifically for the person the gift is for.



Decorating for Christmas doesn’t have to be hard and costly. Here are a few ideas for decorations that won’t cost anything and you can enjoy making with friends and family. If you have old newspaper or books or notebooks full of assignments don’t throw them out. Make Christmas Trees instead! Take the pages individually and fold them in half diagonally and glue them together at the top. You can use a bottom as the topper or and old figurine or you can create a cloth star with cardboard in the middle and cloth glued around it.

These are just a few ideas on how you can upcycle this season. It is a very crafty and thrifty way to save money while helping the environment. I hope this inspired you to get creative!
Merry Christmas!
Recycling and Surplus Associates

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Community Recycling Bins Return!

We are pleased to announce the return of the community recycling bins!

The community bins are used heavily by businesses, homes, and numerous locations where curb-side recycling is not available. The bins provide three options for recycling: glass, cardboard, and single stream. For those of you who don’t know, the single stream option means you can put all of your recyclables into one bag— making recycling much simpler and more convenient!  

The community bins are located behind the Service and Supply building on campus, at the intersection of University Blvd. and Russellville Road (diagonal to the baseball fields). If you live or work off-campus and don’t have curb-side recycling, we hope you’ll take advantage of these bins. They are, after all, here for you!

With Recycled Love,

WKU Recycling & Surplus

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why Should You Recycle?

It’s a fair question. In today’s fast paced world, we are constantly thinking of only one thing: the present. Our generation has grown to expect instant gratification; breaking news arrives instantly to our iPhones, Jimmy John’s promises to deliver lunch in just minutes. Sometimes we think about the future— like our relationships, or what our post-graduation plans are. But overall, any time we think of the future it’s all about us, isn’t it? We complain more about fuel prices than the imminent fact that one day, fuel will run out. But instead of getting involved, we ignore— or even deny— environmental problems, placing all the weight and responsibility on radicals and “Hippies.” The reality is, we’re all suffocating under the enormous weight of environmental waste.

You may think that your waste doesn’t matter. What’s a few soda cans or plastic bags going to do to the environment? In truth, though, we all leave a trail of waste that— combined with the other 312 million people living in America— has the power to do serious damage. This is called your carbon footprint, which is caused by the consumption of fossil fuels—such as coal, oil, natural gas, and petroleum. These fossil fuels are used daily to heat our houses, cook our meals, and make our cars run. The problem is they’re not renewable— they will run out. While we don’t suggest you stop heating your home or cooking meals, we do suggest cutting down your driving time by carpooling, walking, or biking. The option for these nonrenewable resources is to cut down consumption, but that isn’t true about all of our resources. Luckily, we have another option. Some resources are renewable, such as paper, aluminum, tin, and most plastics. That means that things we throw away daily— plastic bottles, soda cans, canned food, scrap papers— can be reused again.

Not only does this benefit the environment, it saves money that would’ve been spent putting these materials into a landfill.Recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions from solid waste, and decreases the use of fossil fuel energies used to produce new materials.  The way our campus handles waste and promotes sustainability will influence the city of Bowing Green, the state of Kentucky, the country, and eventually, the entire world.
A truck full of cardboard heading to the on-campus compactor to be recycled.
So, why should you recycle at WKU? Because the waste you accumulate does influence our campus, not to mention the environment. You have a carbon footprint that grows bigger with every cardboard box and soda can you throw in the dumpster. Your influence alone can help make WKU a more sustainable campus. Recycling is just a small way that you can contribute back to your campus, your home, and the environment. With over 150 single-stream recycling containers scattered around campus, not to mention the recycling bins provided to each dorm room and classroom, it’s impossible to find an excuse not to recycle. 
Start this year off right by remembering this: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Save money, help the environment, and reduce your carbon footprint just by recycling? Yes! It’s that easy.

With Recycled Love,
WKU Recycling and Surplus

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

VAMPY Visits, and Surplus Receives Interesting Items

Today, our department hosted a fieldtrip for 7th -- 10th grade students of VAMPY (Verbally and Mathematically Precocious Youth). The students could only choose one course to study, and some chose sustainability! Our staff spent the morning setting up for the event.

The Recycling and Surplus Coordinator, Sara, explained to the students how our department runs recycling for WKU's campus. She continued by explaining how the new surplus program helps save WKU money (and helps the environment!).

Sara leading a question and answer session about recycling and
sustainability with the VAMPY students.

Apart from knowledge, the students also took home a free water bottle and t-shirt from WKU's Earth Day (which was April 16). Like most students, they were excited to receive the freebies!

An Earth Day t-shirt and water bottle
that was given to each VAMPY student.

In Surplus news, we received some interesting items from the Health Services building: an electrosurgical generator and a container full of crutches! We never know what kind of items we're going to receive, but we always have fun trying to find creative ways to reuse them on campus.

With Recycled Love,
WKU Recycling and Surplus