Letters to the Editor, 03/04/11

Humans vs. Zombies worthwhile event

While I generally approve of the opinions expressed in the Hot-or-Not section, whether I agree with them or not, I was disapointed to read one disparaging the campus group that holds the Humans Versus Zombies (HvZ) game every semester. I can understand the sentiment; it’s sort of disruptive to have people running around flinging marshmallows and socks at each other, but I think calling them out was too much.

Plenty of campus traditions are more disruptive and destructive then the HvZ game. Stealing the Ts off of every accessible campus sign, for instance (including the entrance signs. Maybe that should make it into to Hot-or-Not?). HvZ doesn’t deserve your scorn. It’s an inclusive game that gets the nerdier Techies out in the sun interacting with each other and cooperating. It’s fun to try and “survive” or “hunt,” and it’s a unique experience that everybody should try at least once. The campus needs groups doing diverse things to give everybody somewhere a reason to come to Tech.

Do you think people would be turned away by the new tradition of the HvZ game? I don’t think it’s the place of the campus newspaper to disparage a single group simply because you find them annoying because it definitely doesn’t reflect the opinions of the whole campus, and it doesn’t promote an inclusiveness conducive to a great college experience for all Tech students.

Joshua Terrell
Second-year ME

Plastics need to be adapted, not eliminated

Tech has always done a phenomenal job of promoting green initiatives on campus through things like recycling programs and LEED certification. Receiving Princeton Review’s “Top Green Award” is evidence that the Institute is pursuing every opportunity to maintain its high green ratings and promote sustainable initiatives.

However, we should not let the rhetoric of the green movement get too carried away as to dissuade students from buying bottled water on campus.

The “green” movement to ban the sale of plastic water bottles on some college campuses has gone too far. It would be overreaching to assume that banning water bottles on campus would have an impact on the environment given the incredible success of Tech and Coca-Cola’s recycling programs and innovative plastics, such as the PlantBottle.

In 2009, Coca-Cola opened a bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in Spartanburg, S.C. that “will have the capacity, when fully operational, to produce 100 million pounds of recycled PET plastic chips — enough to produce two billion 20-ounce bottles of Coke or Dasani or whatever,” according to Greenbiz.com.

PET plastic isn’t just recycled back in to new water and soda bottles. Recycled plastic becomes flooring, playground equipment and auto parts. It also becomes fibers for clothing, such as t-shirts and fleece jackets, and for carpet. National Association for PET Container Resources statistics show that it takes just 19 soda bottles to make enough fiber for an extra-large T-shirt or one square foot of carpet and only 14 plastic bottles to make enough fiberfill for your next ski jacket.

If environmentalists posit that water bottles fill up our landfills with a plastic that won’t decompose, there is a new solution: the PlantBottle. This new bottle for Dasani water from Coca-Cola is made with up to 30 percent plant-based material and is appropriately named PlantBottle. Coca-Cola also has a stated goal to develop a bottle composed of 100 percent plant-based materials.

According to Coca-Cola’s website, the PlantBottle is the only bottle made of plant materials, which is also 100 percent recyclable. While this new bottle will become widely available on our campus in just a few months, it is still important to remember to recycle it.

Small changes in our everyday lives, such as turning off the lights and the water when we brush our teeth, are changes everyone can and should make. Students, faculty, and staff all play an integral role in ensuring the success of Tech’s recycling program.

However, let’s not allow an overzealous green movement demonize products that have been created to help the environment. Corporate recycling campaigns and innovative, sustainable production go a long way to achieving green goals, too.

Kristen Greig
Third-year IAML

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