This past Earth Day, campuses across North America were called to take part in the RePaper Campus Challenge – a movement to increase sustainability on college campuses by recovering 75% of campus paper waste for recycling by the year 2015. The campaign is headquartered in the not-for-profit organization Environmental Paper Network’s RePaper Project – a program focusing on increasing paper recovery to best maximize recycled content in paper manufacturing. The Campus Challenge will teach students, faculty and staff on higher education campuses about the impacts of paper, and how best to recover it for effective recycling.
Pam Blackledge, the RePaper Project coordinator, is spearheading this effort. She says, “While campuses are making strides to become ‘carbon neutral’ and making major shifts toward long-term sustainability, improving their paper practices is a significant step in the right direction. We applaud our higher education institutions for being leaders in sustainable practices, and we encourage each and every one to capture 75% of their paper waste for recycling.”
When asked why paper recycling is so important on campuses today, Blackledge responded “With over 20 million students in the United States today, each using at least 700 pounds of paper a year, campuses have a huge opportunity to make a difference. Paper is often ignored as having an immense environmental impact, mostly because we use it every day – it’s everywhere we look. But by creating paper practices that matter to the environment such as reducing waste, recovering more paper for recycling, and purchasing recycled content paper, a campus can make a dramatic impact on their sustainability goals.”
Participating campus organizations currently include College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC), National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology, RecycleMania!, and Recycling Organizations of North America Higher Education Program (RONA U).For more information about the RePaper Campus Challenge, visit the webpage www.repaperproject.org, or contact Pam Blackledge at firstname.lastname@example.org, along with any of the above organizations.