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Patricia Colón and Her Fight Against Plastic Waste On Campus

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWF chapter.

Patricia Colón

Major: Marine Biology

Year: Spring 2019

Hometown: Orlando, FL

Her Campus UWF: What sparked your initial passion for the environment and the Ocean?

Patricia Colón: My family had passes to Sea World when I was growing up and I always loved going to learn about the animals. This led me to major in marine biology. Now, things that the North Pacific gyre plastic island that’s affecting the marine animals makes me want to come up with solutions for reducing plastic waste.

HC UWF: Can you give me some details and solutions to plastic waste on campus?

PC: Informing the new vendor, Aramark, that students do not want plastic straws on campus is one solution. Giving the option of paper straw instead of a single-use plastic one is a good way for UWF to be represented as an environmentally friendly school.

HC UWF: What petitions have you made?

PC: I have two petitions, one for banning plastic straws on the UWF campus that can be found online at this link and another for using UWF plastic waste for 3D printing which can be found here.

HC UWF: What made you want to do this at UWF?

PC: What sparked me was a project in my corals class that educates people about the environment. Banning plastic straws was an attainable goal at UWF. UWF has a new food vendor coming in, Aramark, which makes this an opportune time to do this.

HC UWF: What can other students do to help you?

PC: Share! Share! Share! Please share the petitions with incoming students and current students at UWF.

HC UWF: What obstacles have you faced and overcome?

PC: This is my first time acting by myself, which was intimidating. It was all new to me so it was challenging to independently take an initiative towards a large goal.

HC UWF: Do you have a something that gives you the inspiration to continue your passion?

PC: My professor Dr. Janosik and my family. Their support and guidance have helped me in so many ways.

HC UWF: Where can students find your petition?

PC: You can find them both online. The one banning plastic straws on the UWF campus at and the one advocating for using UWF plastic waste for 3D printing are both fully accessible and ready to be signed by students. We have also been tabling outside the library with iPads for students to sign and flyers with the QR codes will also be posted around campus.

HC UWF: What would you like to tell students at UWF?

PC: Come fight plastic waste with me! Sign the petition and make environmentally conscious choices.

Nature lover, turtle fanatic and forever passionate about the environment. I'm an environmental science major and would love to travel the world expereincing all of Earth's environments. I hope to share my love for the world through the written word. 
Abigail is a Journalism and Political Science major minoring in Spanish. She has a penchant for puns and can't go a morning without listening to NPR's Up First podcast. You can usually find her dedicating time to class work, Her Campus, College to Congress, SGA or hammocking. Her dream job is working as a television broadcast journalist on a major news network. Down time includes TED talk binges, reading and writing. You can follow Abigail on instagram and Twitter @abi_meggs