Story written by Kelsey Barnett ‘12
Members of the Trinity Campus Ecological Stewardship Advisory Group (CESAG) recently met in the Heritage Science Center to see how well students were recycling. The demonstration was an effort to improve the College’s recycling habits.
Members of CESAG asked custodians to refrain from throwing out the trash and recycle bins in the Heritage Science Center for one week. They then opened up all the bags and bins to see what students think should be recycled and what should be thrown away. After observing each pile, the members sorted them properly.
The initial response was that the bins were much better than when they did this experiment at the Bootsma Bookstore Café last semester. Another thought was that the volume of each pile was similar.
The most common mistake was that plastic bottles, cans, and paper are being thrown away and should be recycled while Styrofoam and other biodegradable items should not be recycled but thrown away.
When CESAG Chair Dr. Thomas Roose, associate professor of physics and science education, was asked what he would grade the Science Center, he said a low A to a high B for what is being recycled, but a C for the garbage pile. Recalling the same experiment at the BBC last fall, Roose said he would have given both piles a D or lower.
“Our desire should be to be good stewards of God’s creation,” said Taylor Bandstra ’13 of Pella, Iowa, and member of CESAG. As a member of CESAG, he says the vision statement of this group explains why the recycling habits of the college must improve.
It reads: “A Reformed worldview mandates that humans be good stewards of God's creation. Trinity seeks to teach this worldview and to practice good stewardship, working to care for and redeem the earth.”
“God commands us to care for his creation, no buts or ifs about it,” added Bandstra. “That is the only motivation we should need.”
CESAG challenges Trinity students, faculty, and staff to be more conscious of what they throw away and to follow signs explaining what is recyclable.
CESAG addresses questions and issue concerning recycling and their mission here: tcc.trnty.edu/about/habitat-for-life.pdf.