With the help of First Year Programs Move-in Crew, Housing and Residential Life staff, a gang of twenty volunteers, and of course our new Freshmen and their families, the Office of Campus Sustainability’s 3rd annual move-in day cardboard recycling event was a smashing success.  In total, nearly 2,500 lbs of cardboard were diverted from the landfill and sent to a recycling facility to be reprocessed into new cardboard items.

According to Sustainability Coordinator Joe Herbst, “the diversion rate was fantastic, and more importantly, the students and their families quickly caught on to the need to remove all the packing material from the boxes and flatten them. “Volunteers taught new students and their families the Kung-Fu chop method of breaking down the cardboard, which allows for easy flattening, saving space in the dumpsters, and requiring fewer trips to the landfill.

As “Fluffy” things, such as Pomerian Puppies, comedian Gabriel Iglesias, and the Unicorn from Despicable Me, are gaining a foothold in pop culture, Herbst wants to remind the campus community that fluffy cardboard boxes in the recycling dumpsters are not cool.

Herbst also notes that “although the overall volume of cardboard was down from last year, I see this as a good thing.  More people were using heavy-duty tubs, and I also noted several families brining their cardboard boxes back home for reuse.”  Most people have heard the phrase: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”  Those terms are deliberately set in order of importance, where it’s best to reduce the demand for stuff, reuse what you can, and recycle what’s left.  “Recycle, Reduce, Reuse,” said no one ever….

The Office of Campus Sustainability would also like to give a shout-out to the following volunteers: Samantha Hohnstadt, Colleen Bertrand, Holly Simonitch, Lacy Johnson, Allison Armstrong, Mariah Lloyd, Allie Gravning, Liz Overbo, Molly Flaspohler, Robyn Oster, Clisha Lawrence, Halle Klingman, Lee Smalt, Cassie Stangl, Tommy Trung, Kendle Watson, Mitch Cottew, Chelsey Dahl, Nicolette Wontor, Brian Peck, and all of the volunteer’s friends who got surreptitiously pulled in to help.

The Office of Campus Sustainability exists as a hub for all things green at MSUM, with the goal of leaving our campus greener than we found it. For any questions email OCS@mnstate.edu, or stop by Hagen 111 between 1-4:30, M-F.