The College of William and Mary’s Committee on Sustainability has recruited a new crop of students to be Eco-Ambassadors for this spring, with the goal of increasing sustainability at the College.
The eight students will head environmental projects in fields such as athletics, electronics, library science, transportation and marine science.
“Through our recycling projects, we hope to establish a functioning framework that will allow the athletes and future Eco-Ambassadors to process used athletic shoes and tennis balls in an environmentally conscious way,” Eco-Ambassador Thuy Tran ’12 said in a press release. “Just because the items are no longer useful here doesn’t mean they are useless outside of William & Mary.”
Tran is working with the local Nike store on a program to recycle athletic shoes.
By working with “Rebounces,” a company in Arkansas that re-pressurizes old tennis balls, Will Ozbun ’13 will help recycle and reuse old tennis balls. If the tennis balls are not salvageable, they will beused in other ways such as being donated to local hospitals, assisted living facilities or schools. Ozbun is also working with the Tribe tennis team.
Tran and Ozbun are researching possible methods for using alternative energy and reducing fertilizer use on the athletic fields.
Students Julia Cascioti ’12 and Dominique Paxton ’13 will work on an electronics recycling program. Their new program will collect used computers, restore the hard drives to factory settings, and sell them on an auction website approved by the College.
“If you really think about it, every student has a computer, cell phone or some sort of music device,” Paxton said. “But what happens to it when they’re finished with it?”
Sarah Appelton ’14, and Karen Berquest, the Science Libraries Coordinator, are in the process of implementing a program for book and media exchange at Earl Gregg Swem Library. With this program, students will be able to share textbooks, books, music and DVDs instead of purchasing them. Additionally, Appleton is working on a recycling education campaign, also in Swem, in an effort to decrease the amount of trash that goes into the recycling bins.
Maegan Crews ’12 is working with Elizabeth Mead, an art professor at the College, to recycle construction waste as art project materials. This waste, including scrap wood, Tyvek, plaster, clay, Styrofoam, bricks, concrete and cardboard, will be stored on campus for art students to use.
An on-campus transportation system, created by Patrick Foley ’13, will decrease the amount of traffic pollution created by members of the College. He is working with government professor John McGlennon to determine the best way to increase both awareness and use of public transportation. Foley’s first step toward increasing the use of the Williamsburg Area Transportation Authority bus system is to conduct a student survey.
Morrison Mast ’12 is working with Stu Hamilton, the director of Geographic information systems, to study the effect of shrimp farming on the coasts of Ecuador. Over the past 30 years, the economic interest in shrimp farming has led to endangerment of Ecuador’s natural mangrove habitat.