Features

Tilling It Like It Is: Kicking the Bottle

Todd Troester

Staff Writer

Goucher Energy Action Revolution (G.E.A.R.) has been the most active environmental activism group on Goucher College’s campus for the past few years. G.E.A.R. focuses on the relationship between Goucher students and the energy resources Goucher uses. They pay close attention to Maryland energy politics and law in an effort to find renewable energy sources for Goucher College. An example of this legislature is the movement to increase the Maryland Renewable Portfolio Standard, which means increasing the minimal amount of renewable energy provided in the state. G.E.A.R. is also focusing on a campus initiative to remove plastic bottles from Goucher’s various dining halls. Last year, Goucher recycled twelve tons of plastic bottles and aluminum cans. This equates to approximately 604,790 bottles and cans. Goucher’s great recycling program works hard to turn our waste into something society can use. Unfortunately, our recycling program doesn’t address the issue of consumption. Just being able to reuse plastic bottles doesn’t reduce the production of plastic bottles. Plastic bottles are made from oil with a variety of chemicals. To meet the bottled water demand for America, it is estimated to require around seventeen million barrels of oil annually. That’s enough to run over a million cars for a year. The energy used to make the bottles is enough to power almost 200,000 homes. It is estimated that Americans only recycle 23% of the plastic bottles they use. The mission of G.E.A.R.’s water bottle initiative is to eliminate the demand of bottles by eliminating them from being purchased. G.E.A.R. is working on getting Goucher College on the list of sixty-four college campuses who are currently a part of the Ban the Bottle movement. Colleges like Cornell and Vassar are just two examples of the higher education institutes that are a part of Ban the Bottle. G.E.A.R. also hopes to petition the Green Fund for enough reusable water bottles to give out to the class of 2019. In an interview, Max Coon-Williams ’17, leader of the bottle initiative, addressed the concern for accessibility of water on campus “Goucher has plenty of infrastructure to get drinks.” If you are interested in learning more about G.E.A.R. or the Ban the Bottle movement, you can contact G.E.A.R. at GearUpGoucher@gmail.com or attend a meeting on Mondays at 6:00pm in Pinkard. G.E.A.R. holds activities all semester that include camping trips, stream clean ups, and thrift store shopping. “Anyone is welcome to join G.E.A.R.!” invites Coon-Williams.

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