RecycleMania event displays cardboard castle and art show

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Students made a cardboard box castle in Brigham Square to raise awareness in the BYU community of recycling and waste reduction on campus.

One month’s worth of cardboard collected at BYU by the Recycling program was repurposed to create this large castle on March 31. 

“I love BYU’s recycling program, and I love that there are so many options for recycling in on-campus housing,” music major Bailey Frame said. “I love that it is so readily available for people across campus.” 

Recyclemania is a two month campaign from February to March in which colleges and universities across the nation compete to raise awareness around recycling. Universities in 43 states participate, including schools like Stanford, Fordham and Cornell. BYU’s Sustainability Office is celebrating their first ever Green Week, which includes this campaign.

According to the Recyclemania website, “In 2020, the RecycleMania program changed its name to Campus Race to Zero Waste.” The BYU Sustainability Director Bremen Leak said the Sustainability Office chose to keep the name Recyclemania because they have always loved it. 

“Bremen has done a great job of connecting different campus organizations with sustainability, and it’s fun to see what they’re doing to involve students,” said Ellie Agnew, an urban planning major involved with BikeWalk Provo. 

The theme of the March 31 Recyclemania event was “We are Stewards,” which urged BYU students to honor the earth by taking responsibility for the environment.

“It’s such an interdisciplinary topic and the environment affects so many different things,” environmental science senior Jacquelyn Land said. “We all rely on the environment and the resources it provides us. If we destroy that, we won’t have those resources.” 

In 2012, BYU shattered Harvard’s world record of 566 boxes with a 734 cardboard box castle, complete with turrets and cannons. The record has since been broken by other universities. 

BYU has continued to celebrate Recyclemania for over 10 years with a cardboard box castle in the middle of Brigham Square.  

“BYU is the most well-known institution in Utah County, and so if they can set the example and be the leader (of sustainability) here in Utah, it can help with big issues like air quality, water and population growth,” said Dylan Cindrich, an urban planning major at BYU. 

Alongside the cardboard castle, BYU Sustainability organized an art show where 10 participants displayed art featuring recycled materials. In addition to their art pieces the artists included written material: facts, statistics and background about their pieces.

“I feel like the written aspect is really powerful when paired with art,” said Sustainability Office digital marketing manager and pre-graphic design major Jane Wilson. 

The art submitted to the show has an opportunity to be displayed at a climate change exhibit in the Life Science Museum, Wilson said.

“We hope it is an inspiring thing to see and anyone who walks through and looks at the pieces learn something and be inspired to make lifestyle changes in whatever way they can,” Wilson said. 

The Sustainability Office’s Green Week 2022 will conclude on April 1, with a Sustainability Forum and Symposium in the Engineering Building. The forum and symposium will also preview a new BYU exhibit on climate change, according to their website.

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