Environmental club uses show-don't-tell method to educate

By Michelle Roberts

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Eight students armed with rubber gloves and plastic garbage bags spent two hours rummaging through garbage cans looking for treasures.

They were not looking for rare coins, precious stones or someone's lost retainer. They were looking for polystyrene, and today, they are looking to send a message.

Members of Education by Example, a recycling and environmental club, plan to pile the collected polystyrene on the Mall during lunch to improve recycling awareness, said group member Ray Woo.

Ryan Clark, an undeclared sophomore who collected polystyrene for two hours yesterday, said, "The main goal of the club is to motivate people to recycle. When they just throw it in the trash can, they don't see the whole picture."

The group hopes to show students how much polystyrene is not recycled on average every day, Clark said. To do this, they stored the polystyrene overnight and will display it on the Mall from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Paul Braun, the chairman of the committee that organized the event, said the group hopes to raise university awareness. He said besides informing students, the group hopes to raise the awareness of the Student Union staff as well.

Braun, a graduate student in natural and renewable resources, said the only place to recycle polystyrene is in the Student Union.

"There is a definite problem with recycling. People are using trash cans more than recycling bins, " said Woo, a psychology sophomore.

The group did a similar demonstration with polystyrene during last spring. They collected and displayed 20 to 25 garbage bags of polystyrene last year. Braun said they were able to collect about the same amount this year.

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