Letter to the editor: Lehigh sustainability concerns

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I am writing to express my concern that the sustainability, recycling and waste reduction program at Lehigh University is falsely advertising its productivity and efficiency.

According to an Oct. 30 article by The Brown and White, Lehigh celebrated Sustainability Day on Oct. 26 to “raise awareness of campus-wide efforts to reduce waste and recycle.” However, I believe there is nothing to “celebrate” in this campus-wide environmental concern.

Instead of celebrating our efforts to recycle and reduce waste, we actually need to make productive, efficient efforts in making an impact.

Walking around campus, I almost never see recycling or waste reduction being actively pursued. In the recycling bins in my living facility, there are many items that are not recyclable, and the bins are often loaded with trash and never replaced. Despite posters and reminders for recycling posted around the Lehigh campus, there is an obvious lack of care from Lehigh students toward this issue. The administration needs to instill these values in the student body if it wants efficient waste reduction.

In addition, groups on campus such as Eco-Reps and the Green Action program, while they do exist, are not as impactful and productive as the article claims. The article states Eco-Reps “host waste audits of various dormitories.” However, these audits are clearly non-existent in many dormitories, and many students involved in Eco-Reps are not actively participating in this practice.

Such environmental groups on campus are often less productive due to their lack of organization and students’ ulterior motives for joining these clubs or organizations. Lehigh needs to stop pretending and “celebrating” like they are being productive about sustainability and, instead, actually start making a legitimate impact.

Ryan Crooks

Class of 2020

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