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Make a Pledge to Beat Plastic Pollution

This article appeared in the May 29, 2018, issue of the student newsletter.

The 2018 World Environment Day theme, “Beat Plastic Pollution,” encourages all of us to consider how we can make a big impact by making small changes in our daily lives. Each year, a different host nation selects the theme for a series of global events and initiatives that lead up to World Environment Day (WED) on June 5. This year’s host, India, suggested the theme as a call to action “to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural places, our wildlife — and our own health.” 

The seven colleges of DCCCD are committed to “building a healthy and sustainable future” for Dallas-area communities. Many of the Sustainable DCCCD efforts to go green focus on recycling, which fits in perfectly with the theme of World Environment Day. In recent years, North Lake, Mountain View, Brookhaven and Richland Colleges have been recognized for their recycling efforts. 

North Lake College has won multiple national championships in the annual RecycleMania tournament. In 2017, Richland College was awarded the City of Dallas Zero Waste Management Gold Level Green Business certification. 

Mountain View College’s “Zero Waste Week”

Mountain View College is celebrating World Environment Day with “Zero Waste Week,” which will run from Monday, June 4, through Friday, June 8. MVC’s Sustainability Coordinator, Lori Delacruz Lewis, is excited about getting the message of WED out to the DCCCD community and encouraging everyone to become part of the solution to reducing plastic waste. Students, staff and faculty are invited to participate in activities each day of “Zero Waste Week”:

  • Monday, June 4 — Join the "Zero Waste Pledge"

  • Tuesday, June 5, World Environment Day — “Go waste-free at lunch” demo and lunch kit sale 

    • Come and go from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Treetop Lounge

  • Wednesday, June 6 — Watch an episode of “Our Blue Planet” featuring Sir David Attenborough 

    • Noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Treetop Lounge; bring your own lunch

  • Thursday, June 7 — Bring your own waste-free lunch

    • Come and go from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the ECHS Lunch Patio

  • Friday, June 8, World Oceans Day — Watch the film “A Plastic Ocean”

    • 11:30 to 1:30 in the Treetop Lounge; bring your own lunch

How Else Can I Get Involved? 

“Every year, up to 13 million tons of plastic leak into our oceans, where it smothers coral reefs and threatens vulnerable marine wildlife,” according to the World Environment Day website. With so much plastic polluting the Earth, it is important to consider how we can contribute to reducing the amount of plastic we use and throw away every day. 

“If you can’t reuse it, refuse it.” This slogan captures the mission of World Environment Day 2018. WED encourages everyone to think about a few things that each of us can do in our daily lives from switching to reusable bottles and mugs (instead of using disposable cups) to bringing our own shopping bags to the grocery store. You can also:

  • Ask restaurants to stop offering plastic straws

  • Stop using plastic forks, knives and spoons

  • Try to recycle any plastic you use, rather than simply throwing it in the trash

  • Find out what your college is doing to recycle plastics and other materials

  • Pledge to help Beat Plastic Pollution in your community

You can check out other ideas and share your own using the social media hashtag #BeatPlasticPollution.