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Terracycle

TerraCycle: It’s a word that sounds like “recycle”, and that’s basically what it means, but it’s a little different than your average paper/plastic/glass recycling jazz. TerraCycle is taking stuff that you wouldn’t think could be recycled, and turning it into something else useful, like a binder, or a backpack, or a fencepost.  And many times you can’t even tell!  There are lots of different programs, or “brigades” within Terracycle. Some of the products that Fontbonne collects (because you gotta know we’re all about TerraCycle) are tape rolls, candy wrappers, chip bags, cereal bags, beauty product containers, drink pouches, and ink jet cartridges. We collect all these items, send them in to their brigade HQs when we get enough (using boxes I find in the stairwells at Fontbonne, natch), and are rewarded “points”, which can be turned into cash for our school.

We’ve been doing really well so far! As a matter of fact, we sent in some shipments at the end of the school year, and I recently was informed that Fontbonne University was one of the top ten collecting colleges/universities in the Personal Care and Beauty Brigade. So we just got 10,000 bonus points! That translates to about $100 added to our account. Go Fontbonne!

Also, we just sent in our first shipment to the Scotch Tape brigade, and got a prize pack. Here’s a picture:

(CD case from toilet paper packages, pencil pouch from drink pouches, lotsa tape rolls, and wall stickers!)

So basically, TerraCycle is a great program that not only rewards the environment, but Fontbonne as well! Keep up the collecting!

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Now that my blog is back in action, I know that everyone is dying to hear more about what the Environmental Club is up to. Here’s a quick refresher on what we’re all about:

-Promoting reusing and recycling on campus
-Providing more local and organic food choices in the dining halls
-Reducing energy use and increasing efficiency on campus
-Raising people’s awareness of how their actions can affect the world we live in, through programs and activities

More specifically, we do things like:
-Coordinate a bike borrowing program for the Fontbonne community
-TerraCycle and recycle all sorts of crazy things
-Take trips to places like Soulard Market and the Botanical Gardens
-Give stuff away

Speaking of reducing trash…. look for Environmental Club members selling our reusable Griffin Go Boxes during lunch in the dining halls September 17th and 19th! Why the big push? Stay tuned, and I’ll tell you… ;)

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For those of you who don’t know, back in November, Fontbonne signed up to be a part of Terracycle. Terracycle is an “up-cycling” company whose mission is to take what normally is considered trash and turn it into something new. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill recycling, though – Terracycle is all about turning candy wrappers into tote bags and cereal bags into notebooks. Terracycle categorizes their waste collection into “brigades”: if you want to recycle cookie wrappers, join the cookie wrapper brigade, etc. There are many different brigades, ranging from drink pouches to glue bottles to pens. When you sign up for a brigade, you are cleared to send in that type of waste once you collect a certain amount. As an extra perk, Terracycle will even donate at least $0.02 per unit of waste to a school or charity of your choosing. (We chose Fontbonne!)

They can only accept so much, though, so there is often a “wait list” for some of the more popular brigades. When we first signed up, Fontbonne was only able to get into a few, but since then we have greatly expanded our repertoire! Fontbonne is now collecting drink pouches (like Capri Sun), candy wrappers, cookie wrappers and inserts, energy bar wrappers, Bare Naked granola bags, Kashi packaging, Aveeno beauty products, tape rolls, cereal bags, antibiotic ointment tubes, ink jet cartridges, and chip bags. That’s a lot! To stay in these brigades, though, we have to stay active. That means sending in as many shipments as we can by May 4th. We just sent in a shipment of candy wrappers last week, so let’s keep it up!

We currently have five Terracycle containers around the main campus: in the DSAC, on the first floor of Ryan Hall, on the fourth floor of Medaille (Griffin’s Nest), and in the Southwest and St. Joseph residence halls. We hope to expand to the Brentwood campus soon, too. Please stop by and drop off your waste!! Thanks! :)

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.