Han Minh Yen Nguyen (Jenny)

Han Minh Yen Nguyen (Jenny) is a student of English 099 section12. Jenny is interested in writing , also she has started writing since 2008.

5 August 2016

How Can Columbia College Become Green?

Nowadays, the environment is the biggest concern of the whole society because of a great number of problems created such as pollution and new diseases.  We can see on the TV and in the newspapers that many countries appeal people to stop threatening the environment. As students, we should do something to protect our future lives. In Columbia College, we can find many papers, food waste, and disposable coffee cups; consequently, it is significant to reduce the waste by controlling the creation of garbage and cleaning the school.

Making our school become green is a good start to participate in protecting the environment. Therefore, Columbia College has tried some activities to control the waste. First of all, the college has ideas to reduce with students’ supplies and books. In some classes, especially 2016 summer semester- Math 100 Class, an instructor suggested students buy the e-books because they are cheaper and not paper. Furthermore, the college encourages students to sell and buy the used books by using the website names “Book2go.ca”. Students can find the poster easily on the information board near the main office. Many English teachers in ESL courses tried to use email and quiz websites to help pupils practice online instead of printing paper to distribute for them. For example, Julie in 097 class used a public host mail to update homework and Mark- humanity 097 class chose “Quizz.com” to demonstrate vocabulary. In addition, Columbia College makes some efforts to clean our school. We can find in every floor four types of waste: recycling, organics, and paper classified into different bins inside and outside classrooms. Finally, in the past Columbia College organized a clean club with volunteers who would pick up litter around the school. Although the college has done some work, most of the activities come from individuals such as a small number of teachers or worker creating ideas. School does not have good plans and activities for students to reduce the waste. Consequently, Columbia College should do more to improve our school.

Everyday students and teachers in Columbia College buy a large number of coffee cups which are one of the main wastes created, so we should find routes to reduce coffee cups by educating everyone to sort them into right places and use less coffee cups. Firstly, Columbia College should have special bins for coffee cups, because people are confused where to throw them. Despite having four types of bins: organic, bottle, paper and recycle, Students do not know which bin for coffee cups. For example, we can find coffee cup in both recycle and waste bin easily. It is the same situation to every coffee shop such as Starbuck and Tim Horton. According to Megan Griffth Greene in “ Coffee cups: 3 Months Later, Are They Being Recycled At Tim Horton And  Starbucks” , “ At Starbucks two cups were found in bins labeled “ mixed recycling” and one was put out with regular garbage”( Griffth-Greene). As a result, coffee cups’ bin can help pupils and Columbia College workers sort those cups, which is extremely important. Furthermore, we should suggest Columbia College people to use less coffee cups due to the fact that they are difficult to recycle. Griffth- Greene well shows that although the coffee cups are classified into recycling bins and dispatched to recycle companies, they are not able to recycle because of plastic lining, and then the companies often decide to drive them to the landfill. However, in the article: “Don’t recycle your Timmies cup: City forced to act as 45000 tonnes of regular garbage clog blue bin”, Powell Betsy says that actually the paper material of coffee cups can be recycled without the plastic lids (Powell). From that, we can separate paper parts into recycle bins and lids into garbage bins.

Besides, the amount of usage coffee cups is uncontrolled, which is a warning statement. According to Toronto Metro News in the article: “Why takeout coffee cups belong in the garbage, not recycling”, “That includes hot beverage cups, though just how many land in blue bins is unknown. Torstar reported in 2009 that Torontonians were discarding about a million cups a day; the city was unable to confirm whether that number has risen or declined since then” (Why takeout). Eventually, everyday people use a lot of coffee cups which can not be limited, so the school should take part in decreasing the number of disposable cups used to reduce the rubbish in the college and the city. In order to control the number of the coffee cups, the college should suggest students bring their own bottles rather using the disposable cups. Furthermore, in Student lounges, the school can have free coffee, tea, and cups for students. By doing this, students are able to drink at school so they do not need to buy coffee with disposable cups: also it is a good way to connect every student in the college. We can conclude that despite the convenience, coffee cups lead to many problems which are difficult to deal with, so we should control the number of them used.

Food waste is one of the largest wastes in Columbia College because most students and staff bring lunch to school everyday. It can be seen easily that we produce plenty of waste everyday. In his writing: “ Schools Work To Reduce Cafeteria Trash”, Ben Feller points out “ Students at Hammond Elementary toss away half- eaten apples, untouched sandwiches, and portions of pizza slices”. This habit is similar to Columbia College’s pupils’ behaviors, leading to a great deal of garbage created. Many people just buy everything which they like although they do not eat that food. However, this is not impossible to change this habit by informing students to consider when they make and buy the food, which can help the school only reduce waste and also saving money. In the article “Lunch not landfill: how schools can cut food waste and save money” Nick Morrison explains that even though a kitchen cooked food for 500 people, they measure enough food and just throw away a little food. As a result, they can save £ 2000 a month (Morrison).  As a consequence of this example, if students just bring enough food for a meal, they will create less waste and save amount of money from buy only necessary food. Therefore, we can see how much we can save if we concentrate on the way of producing food.

The number of paper used is rising day by day, which is another main waste in every school and offices including Columbia College. In order to produce the paper we have to cut down a plenty of trees everyday, which threatens the environment. According to article” Changing Paper consumption”, “Americans now use about 31.5 million tons of printing and writing paper each year, meaning 660 pounds per person, which requires 535 million trees (most from virgin tree fiber) and 12 billion gallons of oil for its manufacturing” (Changing Paper). From those data, we can recognize that every day a person uses a large number of papers to be calculated to the trees have been cut. In the other article: “Fact about paper impact of consumption”, “ In the last 20 years, the usage of paper product has increased from 92 million tons to 208 million, which is a growth of 126%” ( Fact about). By that information, we understand that we will have being destroyed the environment in 20 years later in the same way if we can not change our habits. Besides, both articles make some suggestion for everyone to buy the recycled paper or use the modern technology of document management instead of papers. Furthermore, in Columbia College, students can not print both sides of the paper, so the school should improve this problem. As a result, the school can decline the number of papers used owing to instead of need ten papers to print a document normally, students only need five paper printed both sides.

In conclusion, reducing the waste is the good beginning point to improve our college and also take part in defending the environment. If we keep creating the waste day by day without restriction, which means we are destroying the environment, can you imagine how many trees we have to cut down every second for producing paper? Are we going to have fresh air in the long term future?




Work Cited

Ben, Feller. “Schools Work To Reduce Cafeteria Trash.” Associated Press. Thursday May 12,4:40PM ET.

“Facts About Paper: The Impact of Consumption – The Paperless Project – Join the Grassroots Movement.” The Paperless Project RSS.Np,.n.d

“Green Schools Initiative: Changing Paper Consumption.” Green Schools Initiative: Changing Paper Consumption.net.N.p.,n.d.

Morrison, Nick. “Lunch Not Landfill: How Schools Can Cut Food Waste and save Money.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 22 May 2014.

Powell, Betsy. “Don’t Recycle Your Timmies Cup: City Forced to Act as 45000 Tonnes of Regular Garbage Clog Blue Bins.” Toronto Star. Web. 20 June 2016.

“Why Takeout Coffee Cups Belong in the Garbage, Not Recycling | Metro News.” Metronews.ca. 25 June 2016.