5 Things You Should Know About Recycling at UF

We’ve all heard the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” but applying it beyond the nearest recycling bin doesn’t really happen with many of us. Fortunately, you don’t have to go to extensive measures to bring your own meaning to that saying. UF has a variety of green-centric programs and initiatives that allow you to experience college in a sustainable way.  

1. Student discounts for recycling

As part of UF’s aim to reduce waste and recycle as much as possible, Starbucks locations on campus offer $0.25 discounts for students who bring their own reusable mugs, as long as they don’t order ahead. So go get your caffeine, save some money and the environment!   

2. RecycleMania

Every year, UF participates in a competition called RecycleMania. This event is a national competition that encourages college campuses to reduce waste and increase recycling by recognizing those efforts. To help UF in meeting the goals of this competition, Liz Storn, the Program Coordinator for the Office of Sustainability, encourages students to participate from the comfort of their own homes by using the recycling and collection bins at residence halls and donating any unwanted items, such as furniture and electronics.

3. Gator Dining

Gator Dining might not have the best reputation for a good “leafy green diet”, but in recent years they’ve turned over a new leaf and planted many initiatives for “going green”. Since 2011, Gator Dining Services have used reusable products instead of foam ones and dining halls across campus now all have reusable to-go containers to fill up your food!

Major life hack: Bring in your Gator Dining cup for soft drinks and receive a discount when you order a drink!

4. Spring Collection Day  

Make your spring cleaning this season environmentally friendly by getting rid of any unwanted items through the annual UF Spring Collection day. You can participate by bringing any clothing, household items, furniture, electronics and non-perishable goods to the Stephen O’Connell Center Parking Lot on April 25 from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

5. Mr. Paper

With 50,000+ students, our printers are always on full duty, which means the need for a ton of printer toners and a whole bunch of plastic waste. Fortunately, UF’s office supply provider, Mr. Paper, takes a sustainable approach towards the cartridge waste problem by refilling the printer toner cartridges and then selling them, which promotes a more sustainable approach to waste management.

With our never ending exams and deadlines, job and internship responsibilities, we can easily forget our own responsibilities towards the environment. But this Earth Day, we should all take the time to celebrate the natural beauty around us by bringing meaning to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” in our lives. So walk those few extra steps to the recycling bin to throw that unwanted flyer handed to you at Turlington, ride a bike or the bus instead of a car for at least one day, and print responsibly.