Since the birth of the TCU Barnes & Noble bookstore, a few new environmentally focused supplies have popped up on the shelves. Until recently, they were placed on the very bottom shelf near the back of the supply area, but now they have emerged at the top shelf supporting the theme semester “Think Purple, Live Green.”
But these supplies should always be available, not just in the theme semester. As conscious student consumers, we must put in some extra time to read the consumer label and make an environmentally ethical decision – “Do I purchase the ‘green’ supplies and act as a steward of the Earth for the sake of future generations, or do I get the notebook with the flowers on it?” To me, it’s a simple question to answer, but then again I’m not a fan of highly-ornamented notebooks.
As a student body, we must place a greater demand upon the bookstore for more of these similar sustainable items. The more individuals interested, the more our requests will be addressed. Already after sending numerous comments to the Barnes & Noble suggestion box last semester, I have seen a greater selection of eco-friendly pencils, biodegradable pens, green-supporting zip-drives and 100 percent post-consumer content recycled notebooks and filler paper. In terms of resourcefulness, these supplies are a no-brainer. It is as easy as: 1. Create waste 2. Re-create with the waste 3. Use the new creation 4. Re-create the re-created waste, and so on. Why shouldn’t we buy everything that has been recycled and eliminate the large stretches of landfills?
It is surprising to see how few eco-friendly supplies we have compared to the wasteful ones. I would rally for a completely renewable paper supply because the differences between the two are nearly invisible beyond the label. After visiting other colleges, I was shocked (and quite delighted) to find at least 85 percent to 90 percent of the notebooks and filler paper were made by Environotes, a company that produces environmentally friendly school supplies. Personally, I feel there is no reason TCU should not follow with other universities or even lead the way. If we are to take this year’s theme semester seriously, I suggest a bit of action on the behalf of the university, especially in the easiest area: school supplies.
All in all, I highly suggest checking out the eco-friendly supplies at the TCU bookstore. If you are to purchase a new set of pencils, make sure you grab those E+Co. writers made from 100 percent recycled bags, or grab some Environotes loose-leaf filler paper made from 100 percent recycled paper and 30 percent post-consumer waste. Being an educated consumer requires nothing more than a thoughtful person. So think about the picture beyond yourself and make a choice for the future.
Gretchen Wilbrandt is a junior environmental science major from Woodstock, Ill.