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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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EIC Plans to Lead by Example During Spring Break

River+Cleanup
Photo by Provided
River Cleanup

Members of the Environmental Issues Committee will spend the first weekend of Spring Break kayaking down the Blanco River armed with trash bags as they clean up after other Spring Break travelers.

 

EIC members spend part of their Spring Break each year picking up trash left at popular Spring Break destinations. This river clean up service activity allows the organization’s members to both bond and bring environmental improvement goals to a state level. Civil engineering senior and EIC Chair Hailey Mueller-Lavigne said it is a fun way to improve the environment.

 

“That’s one thing that you see, especially around spring break, is all the waste that collects from college kids going on spring break,” Mueller-Lavigne said. “Blanco is a gorgeous town, it’s not terribly far from here, and they have the adequate camping kayak lodges. What we’re going to do is bring tents, kayaks and trash bags and as we’re floating the river, as we see it, try and grab trash.”

 

Abby Spiegelman, university studies senior and EIC director of SGA and campus politics, said cleaning may be a chore, but it can also be fun. Making trash pickups fun is a good way to promote lifelong environmental stewardship according to Spiegelman.

 

“If you make things fun people are more likely to do it themselves,” Spiegelman said. “So that’s what we’re trying to do. Lifestyle changes — you’ve got to make them fun.”

 

According to Caralie Brewer, bioenvironmental sciences senior and EIC programing director, the Blanco River cleanup is in line with EIC’s goal of waste minimization across the state.

 

“EIC is A&M’s premier environmental organization,” Brewer said. “As such, EIC deals with a lot of waste minimization. So, our Blanco River cleanup is our way of extending our presence from just the College Station Bryan area to the greater Texas area and advocating for waste minimization and bettering the environment throughout Texas.”

 

Mueller-Lavigne said it is important for college students to take care of places like the Blanco River now, so that they can be enjoyed more in the future.

 

“These are the places that we’re going to take our children,” Mueller-Lavigne said. “If you make a habit out of something, now it is something that is going to stay with you for the rest of your life. It is something that builds character. We always have fun, but it’s sobering. You see that much trash and it definitely makes you more aware and conscious of your actions and how they affect other things.”

 

EIC encourages all students to take action to better the environment during spring break and throughout the rest of their lives. Spiegelman said taking responsibility for the environment is an important part of taking responsibility for ourselves.

 

“Especially for college students, we’re just beginning to take responsibility for ourselves and we’re having more and more responsibility as we move on. So to me it’s important that we can be responsible for the environment. It’s kind of that transitioning thing that helps people grow up a little bit.”

 

In addition to throwing away trash instead of littering, EIC said college students can improve the environment with little lifestyle changes. Instead of using styrofoam to-go containers, that never break down and emit chemicals into the food they hold when heated in the microwave, EIC recommends taking reusable containers from home. Dining in instead of taking food to-go cuts down on trash and when to-go meals are a must, EIC says recycle all that possibly can be.

 

Other tips from EIC include taking alternative modes of transportation when available and purchasing lightly worn clothing instead of new.
Brewer said it is important for Aggies to take action to be more environmentally friendly.
“As students we’re going to enter the workforce, and that means we’re going to be a huge part of society,” Brewer said. “With 60,000 people entering the workforce that means your aggie voice is not just a tiny voice. Our tiny little voices add up and we’ll be able to make giant screams into modern society about saving our environment for generations to come.”

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