This semester, ASHMC Sustainability ran a Reduce Single Use Campaign. This campaign encouraged students to pledge against using single use cups for a two week period. We now have the results of the pledge and students perspectives on how this campaign influenced sustainability at Mudd!
288 students participated in the Reduce Single Use Pledge, over one-third of the Harvey Mudd student body. Sontag won the dorm percentage participation competition with 45 participants. After the competition ended, we sent out a survey to analyze students’ responses to the campaign and got back 91 responses.
On the positive side, we found that the campaign truly did help reduce the number of single use cups that students were using. 87.9% of survey respondents stated that the pledge inspired them to use fewer single-use cups, even after their pledge period ended. Additionally, as can be seen in the figures below, participating in the pledge made participants as a whole much more aware of the sustainability efforts and issued on Mudd’s campus.
Overall, though, the survey suggested that students feel that individual action to protect and conserve the environment is less important than government and institutional action. We want to remind everyone that government and institutional action can only happen if individuals come together to make change and to create an impact on society. When students leave Mudd, they have the potential to become the leaders who will implement governmental and institutional action and therefore need to fully understand the importance of environmental protection and sustainable practices.
Demographically, females and first year students dominated the pool of participants with 68% of the survey respondents identifying as female and 47% being first year students. We hope that the enthusiasm we see in the class of 2022 will continue through the next three years and will continue to gain momentum! We hope that the community benefited from the Reduce Single Use Campaign and we are planning on using a similar model next year.
Skylar Gering and Vadim Mathys, ASHMC Sustainability