December 13, 2012
Dean of X University
Re: Suggested Changes for a More Environmentally Friendly Campus
I am a student at this university, and I would like to suggest a few changes we can make on campus in order to help our university become a more environmentally friendly place. First, and commendably, in many of our classes, we study the harmful effects of many of the ways in which Americans constantly ignore simple methods by which we can combat global warming, and help protect the environment. Secondly, it occurred to me recently that if we talk about it so much in class, we ought to do something about it, as members of this university, and this community, and moreover as citizens of this country.
Of course, as we know very well in these times of budget crises, cutting costs is paramount in order to preserve as much of our educational opportunities as possible. Consequently, I have spent a great deal of time thinking about just how we could achieve some measure of protecting the environment without incurring additional costs such as those incurred in green schools. It turns out that there are in fact several methods I would like to suggest that are easy to implement and will not take a great deal of time or cost to put into effect.
First, a simple way of reducing waste (especially plastic waste) and protecting our forests, would be to encourage everyone on campus to use reusable bags at each of the stores on campus that adopt this suggestion. I recommend a discount be offered by those stores participating. The discount could very well be offset by increased patronage, as most students have a keen interest in protecting the environment. As an alternative to offering a discount, the university might consider imposing a fee for any plastic or paper bags used in any purchase on campus, the proceeds to go to a general environmental fund. The university might consider selling for a nominal sum (not at a loss) reusable bags with the school name and logo.
Second, recycling is something that has become quite remarkable in recent years, to the point that fabric can now be produced from used plastic materials, and the fabric is actually quite comfortable and natural. Usually, recycling garbage is difficult because people are generally lazy (possibly most of all students) and recycling can become a complicated affair if carried out for all of its ultimate categories for trash. I suggest that we begin more simply, with easier recycling requirements that students can follow, and then once we can train people on campus to use a simple system, we can gradually introduce more and more categories of recyclable materials like aluminum. The trick to success, I feel, is to start off simple in order to train people first. There are groups around the University that are involved in collecting recycled materials, and there are other groups who are willing to provide recycling bins as well. The cost therefore of this method would be minimal.
Thank you for your time and consideration of these suggestions.
Very truly yours,