Environmental Concerns Committee Encourages Pennswood Village to Reduce Plastic Bag Usage
On July 7, the ECC launched an initiative to reduce plastic bag use as part of The Year of Living Lightly, by convincing staff and residents to use their own bags, baskets and bins to carry belongings from place to place. As part of Pennswood Village’s 35th Anniversary celebrations, each month this year, residents are picking up a new habit to go green – from thrift shopping to donating used goods. For the month of July, the community is focusing on using reusable bags and baskets.
The largest use of plastic bags on campus is in the dining areas, like the café, where residents use them to transport their meals. Currently, there are about 1500 to 2000 plastic bags being used every month on campus, which the committee is hoping to significantly reduce, or even abolish completely. While this effort is being launched in July, it will continue throughout the rest of the year.
The ECC began the reusable bags initiative by increasing awareness around campus about the damage that plastic bags have on the environment. The ECC has been writing educational articles for the weekly bulletin, sharing relevant articles with residents throughout departments, and conducting surveys in the café.
In the U.S., only about 25% of shoppers are using reusable bags, which leads to millions of plastic bags being used every minute. And although they are recyclable, only 3% of plastic bags are reused. Since it takes more than 500 years for a plastic bag to decompose, they are piling up as litter in the environment – both on land and at sea.
Dining Services will be creating a graph to visually show the number of bags being used over the next several months to track progress as a community. As a daily reminder, Living Lightly badges that read “Don’t Leave Home Without It” were distributed at the Community Meeting – “it” being your reusable bag or basket, that is!
Cloth “bags within a bag” will be sold at the Pennswood Gift Shop so that residents may always have a reusable bag on hand, whether they’re picking up food from the café, grabbing groceries, or shopping around town.
To learn more about how Pennswood Village is going green this year, call us at 866-740-4977.