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USG program to make campus more sustainable

A proposed project from the Undergraduate Student Government’s Sustainability Committee is taking half-used pieces of paper and turning them into notepads.

“The project calls to extend the life of under-utilized resources, in this case paper, that are drastically wasted by staff and students,” Amber Seira, a third-year in public affairs, said in an email.

An average box filled with paper could make 200 notepads, each with 50 sheets each, Seira said.

Seira said she is helping to start the rePad project through the Sustainability Committee, a committee with the goal to improve on environmentally-friendly practices on campus. The program rePad takes notes printed only on one side of paper and uses them to create new notepads using the unused sides.

The program, based in residence halls, will be implemented during finals week, Seira said. During that week, residence hall front desks will have a paper collection where students and staff can drop off paper used only on one side, such as lecture slide notes or photo copier mistakes.

USG will then collect the paper from residence halls and take it to UniPrint, where they will cut and bind the paper to make “new” notepads, using the paper donated cut into fours, Seira said in an email. The notepads will then be either distributed back to residence halls to be used for free, or donated to a local Columbus school.

Because the project is still in the planning stages, there are no details about the cost of the project at this time.

Dustin Homan, a fourth year in agricultural and extension education and the director of the sustainability committee, said the program will start either during finals week this quarter or next quarter.

“I just think it’s cool because you get this notepad and on the back of it’s going to be like 50 different students’ engineering homework and medical school homework from stuff they’ve printed,” Homan said.

Siera said her work from other student organizations was part of the inspiration for the project.

“I’m in the student organization Free the Planet and it was a project that I tried to implement as a craft project last year to recycle,” Seira said in an email. “It’s inspired from different things you see online and on campus.”

When the Ohio Union opened they gave out notepads with the blueprint on the back, Seira said. This made the project seem possible to implement on campus.

Some students like the idea of reusing old pieces of copy paper for notebooks.

“I think it’s very efficient,” said Kelsey Conrad, a second-year in fashion merchandising. “It’s an intriguing idea for not only students at Ohio State but also students around the Columbus community.”

Nick Ruhrkraut, a third-year in biochemistry and film studies, agreed.

“That seems interesting, being eco-friendly and using notes again, that seems worthwhile,” Ruhrkraut said.

Ruhrkraut said he needs more information on the project before drawing a conclusion.

“I’d have to see it implemented in the field and get a better understanding of it,” Ruhrkraut said.

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