Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 01:10
This week, Mayor Vincent Gray proposed a District-wide ban on environmentally harmful Styrofoam. While Georgetown is commendably already a foam-free campus, the noise generated by this proposal brings focus to exciting new sustainability initiatives on campus. Specifically, Students of Georgetown Inc.’s “Kill the Cup” campaign presents the first major campus effort to integrate environmental issues into social media. Pairing sustainability and the Web is a creative step, and other food vendors on campus would be wise to take note.
The university aims to cut its carbon footprint in half by the year 2020, and this year has seen promising steps toward that goal. When coupled with the founding of the Office of Sustainability and new recycling bins in many campus apartments, the current Kill the Cup campaign is especially encouraging. The Corp has long had a discount for patrons who reuse their paper cups or bring reusable ones. Now, with the help of a $550 grant from Corp Philanthropy, they have partnered with the nationwide initiative killthecup.org. The campaign focuses on increasing awareness; students upload photos of themselves with reusable cups to the Kill the Cup website and are eligible for various prizes.
The university cannot accomplish its goals of sustainability through administrative efforts alone. Students must continue pursuing these types of initiatives — and put pressure on the entire campus to follow suit. Sustainability efforts are notably absent among the Hilltop’s other food vendors. Though neither Cosi nor Einstein Bros. Bagels, for instance, are university- or student-owned, they nonetheless share our campus and must consider implementing programs that correspond with campus expectations.
Sometimes being environmentally conscious involves nothing more than reusing and recycling. The Corp has been helping Georgetown to see this clearly. Now is the time for Georgetown students to play their part.