Clean it up! Dump that styrofoam cup!
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The SGU Green Consortium is a committee under the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medicine Association (SCAVMA) at St. George’s University in Grenada. Our mission is to increase awareness on environmental issues caused by human activities, and the responsibility that we all have in addressing the growing threat such issues have on our planet and to its inhabitants. We intend to do this by fostering cohesion among environmentally-focused students, developing campus sustainability programs, and creating a unified student voice on green issues at SGU. Lets talk about our plastic waste!
Many commercially available materials are extremely harmful to the environment, and can cause adverse health effects to humans and other beings. For instance, Styrene—the monomer of polysterene (a substance more commonly known as Styrofoam) and which is used extensively in the production of plastics, and rubber—is known to be a potential carcinogen (group 2a), can cause acute and chronic illnesses, and can easily leach into food. Other types of plastic can often be mistaken for food by marine life and cause blockages or suffocation. It can take years, if not centuries, for items made of plastic, aluminum, tin, and glass to break down in landfills and in the ocean.
The Caribbean islands are home to some of the most endangered plant and animal species in the world; however, climate change poses a direct threat to these fragile ecosystems. If more is not done to preserve our oceans and natural habitats, some of these species could be completely eradicated.
We are urging SGU to start moving towards environmentally sustainable practices that respect our oceans, wildlife, planet, and the health of all, while also considering the livelihoods of local businesses. We call upon the university to implement the following steps:
1. In the short-term, reduce waste by providing each freshman student with their own reusable water bottle and food container.
2. Establish recycling options for students, faculty, and staff on campus.
- In the short-term, we urge the school to establish a pilot recycling program that collects and delivers recyclable items to local businesses that repurpose the materials.
- In the long term, we call upon the school to expand its capacity and create its own recycling program that accepts all materials and takes items to a recycling facility.
3. In the long-term, we call upon the school to form partnerships with campus vendors and local Grenadian businesses to work to reduce environmental impact, like placing collective orders on biodegradable food packaging that can be composted.
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