COLUMN: OU community can reduce its environmental impact
Campus Cardboard Trailer Locations:
• The Chemistry Annex — near the trash receptacle trailers
• Armory Building — southwest side
• Cate Main — west side, near trash receptacles and loading dock
• Sam Noble Museum — at the loading dock
• National Weather Center — east side, near trash receptacles
• Lloyd Noble Center parking lot — southwest corner
• Sooner Housing Center — east side, near the kitchen and residence halls
• Hester/Robertson Hall — north side near trash receptacles
• Copeland Hall — west side, near trash receptacles
• OU Water Tower
• Devon Energy Hall, Rawls Engineering Practice Facility — at the loading dock
• Couch Restaurants — south side, near the loading dock
• CCE Administration Building — north side
During a time of record high temperatures, drought and increased evidence of global warming, everyone who is part of the OU community should think about simple ways to reduce their impact on the environment.
Don’t smoke and drive:
Now that the smoking ban has been in place since July, I’ve noticed a trend. Given the extreme temperatures, some smokers have resorted to driving around in their cars with the air conditioner on instead of walking in the heat to a place technically “off campus.”
Transportation is a major source of green house gases, and the extra drive time increases your carbon footprint and the university’s as a whole — when we should be trying to reduce them. As the temperatures get colder, come up with a creative alternative to smoking in the warmth of your car’s heater.
CART and car pool:
The Cleveland Area Rapid Transit bus system is a good alternative to cars. In February 2011, CART added six natural gas-powered “green” vehicles to its fleet, servicing campus and the surrounding areas. Riding the bus also eliminates the need to buy a parking pass.
Since our transportation methods and choices affect the environment, consider coordinating schedules with friends, classmate and others to get back and forth to campus. The savings in gas can be significant, which is nice for your bank account and the environment.
Recycle your moving boxes:
While the university’s cardboard recycling sites are not the most obvious trash receptacles on campus, they are abundant. There are 13 of them in various locations, from the Weather Center all the way to the Chemistry Annex. So, after you’re done moving in to your new apartment or dormitory, consider recycling your torn up boxes instead of sending them to the dump.
OU also accepts recycling of aluminum, plastic, paper, batteries, toner cartridges and phonebooks, though some require a call to Facilities Management. From 2008 to 2009, OU saw an increase of 20 percent in recycled goods, according to the Crimson and Green website It’s worth the effort to keep that number climbing.
Watered hard and put away wet?:
OU is infamous for watering the sidewalks and overwatering the plants. Typically, lawns only need to be watered at a depth of 4 to 6 inches every five to seven days, and landscaping is overwatered in the average home between 20 and 40 percent, according to the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.
During the drought this summer, I saw plants living in mud and standing water because the sprinkler had been left on too long. While the university uses nonpotable wells and not-city water for landscaping and irrigation, water is a valuable resource and should not be squandered needlessly, or even to the detriment of the foliage.
Paige Willet is a broadcast and electronic media senior.