William Shain, a first-year student from the U.S., had an idea recently to help UWC-USA take another step closer to living its mission of stewardship of the earth's resources.
"Three times each week UWC-USA students seemingly take over the Las Vegas, NM Walmart and buy items the school store doesn't stock." William explains. "Though a bus of only around 40 students makes the trip at a time, you often see students coming back with 3 or 4 bags. Of course, despite our protests, the baggers at Walmart like to double bag items or simply use more bags than are strictly necessary." In honor of Earth Day 2018, William is implementing a Walmart bag program that will provide a supply of reusable tote bags on each of the school's buses so students can use them when they make purchases in town each week.
"My goal was simple," said William. "I wanted to find a way to reduce the number of single-use plastic bags that will quickly find themselves headed to the dump. Estimating about 40 UWC-USA students make the Walmart trip three times each week for roughly nine months of the year, our campus uses more than 8,000 plastic bags annually."
It's easy to point to "big polluters" or industries that have a significant carbon footprint or produce large amounts of waste. But William and his friends at UWC-USA recognize that we all make little decisions every day that, over time, can have a big impact managing our resources more responsibly.