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One of my best friends at Bowdoin College would always send me Snapchats of her CLYNK(ing). I, like most people, had no idea what CLYNK was or the impact I could have on the environment.

CLYNK is a bottle redemption system that has a database where one can track their personal environmental impact with every bag of recycled bottles and cans. One purchases special CLYNK plastic bags, and then fill as many bags as possible with recyclable bottles and cans. You place a barcode, scan it, and place the bag in a designated area at your local Hannaford and CLYNK centers. Every state has a bottle redemption service, CLYNK services can only be found in Maine and New York.

Last Sunday night, my roommate decided to go into the trash and recycling room of our dorm building and collect any recyclables. My friend, Michaela, and I dug through the four recycling bins in the basement of our mostly upperclassmen dorm. There was blood, sweat, and a lot of beer by the end of our excursion.

Although many of my friends were skeptical of the whole situation, others were excited about how much we would find and make off our finds.

We filled 3 giant boxes and one smaller box to the top with wine bottles, beer cans and bottles, plastic water bottles, and handles of hard alcohol. Basic cans, glass and plastic bottles are each worth five cents. Standard wine bottles are 15 cents. Handles are worth 25 cents. At the local Hannaford, we filled CLYNK bags, placed a barcode, scanned the barcode, and placed the bags down in the designated CLYNK room.

Two days later, we checked our balance online. Overall, we had recycled 616 containers and made $32.40. We saved enough energy to light 1.2 light bulbs — 24 hours a day — for a year and enough emissions equivalent of driving a car 233 miles.

Many people do not realize the impact they could have if they made conscious efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle. These simple tasks can help save our planet and promote awareness of the environmental impact each person has. And in the process, you can make some pocket change!

To find out more about CLYNK check out their website.

To learn more about reducing, reusing, and recycling check out the EPA’s website.

Elizah Laurenceau is a senior at Bates College. Her hobbies consist of rewatching Call Me By Your Name, using Huji to take pictures, and playing with her dog. She spends her days either glued on her computer or late nights finishing up work.
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