Environmental Science and Policy
The purpose of this project was to approach the issue of paper usage at Smith College through encouraging Smith students to reuse paper before recycling. I have constructed “second-hand” notebooks for academic use to provide a concrete example of how students can participate in the first two steps of paper conservation before they dispose of it in the recycle bin. I collected paper from recycle bins throughout Smith campus and the local community and bound them into academic notebooks for student use next semester. I found that all of the paper that was disposed of in the recycling bins at Smith College was not reused first, although there were some pages that contained double-sided printing. Throughout my research I found that paper constitutes a disproportionate amount of Municipal Solid Waste, and that recycling itself poses significant threats to the environment, although it is a positive alternative to disposal in landfills. My goals were not only to make a small difference in the amount of paper being recycled on Smith campus by physically removing reusable paper out of recycling bins, but also to generate an environmental consciousness and awareness throughout Smith and the local community about paper use and the importance of conserving this resource.
©2011 Caitlin Kennedy
Kennedy, Caitlin, "Reduce, Reuse, and then Recycle: The Issue of Paper Use at Smith" (2011). Class Project, Smith College, Northampton, MA.