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Sustainability program growing

Seth Jobes-Ryan recycling a water bottle. -Kailee O’Brien/TRUMPET

Wartburg College does its part when it comes to being sustainable, but sustainability on campus is always looking to improve.

Many schools across the country are making small changes to make an overall better campus for their students and the residents in the community.

Sustainability is a work in progress and though there are goals along the way there is never a point where all the work is done.

According to Vox, packaging accounts for nearly 30 percent of all waste made across the U.S.

The University of California has started a new project where students have a new option for getting a reusable container with their takeout food to eliminate waste.

Though Wartburg does not have a system like this in meal transfers, the sustainability office has worked with dining service and have ideas for the future that involves limiting the amount of plastic bags and unrecyclable items.

Wartburg buys bulk purchases so that it is shipped in minimal packaging.

“One of the easiest ways to help sustainability in the Waverly community and all students home towns is when going to the grocery store to not package your bananas,” Anne Duncan, sustainability coordinator, said

There are many different fruits that come in their own packaging that do not need a plastic bag around them to carry home.

There are also ways students can become more aware of how to help with the growth of sustainability program.

Wartburg is the second private school in the Midwest, and ninth in the nation, to achieve a gold rating under the newest version of the Sustainability Tracking, assessment & Rating System (STARS).

Wartburg is the first Iowa private college to earn this ranking.

The best way to promote sustainability is to allow it to happen organically, Duncan said.

“I have found that the more people were brought up loving the environment the more sustainable they tend to be,” Duncan said.

There are many little ways that students can do to help the earth and be more sustainable.

Filling up reusable water bottles is one of the easiest. Another way students can participate in keeping the earth green is shutting off the water when brushing their teeth.

It is estimated that the average person spends around 47 seconds brushing their teeth.

If a student leaves the water on for all 47 seconds, approximately two gallons of water are being wasted.

Assuming the average person brushes their teeth at least two times a day, each person wastes roughly 730 gallons of water every year.

Wasting water can be avoided.

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