Since August of 2018, The Reduce Single-Use Project has hosted several campus beach cleanups, and has plans to continue these cleanups throughout the coming school years. The Project hosts about 1 cleanup per month in partnership with other departments and student organizations on campus to increase student engagement.
Each cleanup targets both Eckerd's coastline and inland areas. Waste around campus is easily transported to the Bay via storm drain discharge. By comparing results from both areas, we can begin to assess the magnitude of direct impact that the Eckerd College community has on the surrounding water.
These cleanups are a fun way to engage with the marine environment, gives students an opportunity to witness first-hand the amount of debris that accumulates on and around campus, and serves as a community service activity.
A detailed description of the items collected can be found on our Beach Cleanups Page.
Plastics in Tampa Bay Course at Eckerd
During Eckerd's January 2022 Winter Term, a Plastics in Tampa Bay Course was offered. This interactive course encouraged students to examine the impact of their actions through plastic reduction challenges, beach cleanups as well as visits to local waste management facilities. This included the Waste Management MRF, South Cross Bayou Water Reclamation Facility, and a virtual meeting with the Pinellas County Solid Waste and Incineration Facility.
Plastic Reduction Challenge
Our project challenges the Eckerd community to reduce their single-use plastic consumption. Challenges vary in length from a week to a month, and are very effective! They are a fun way to engage the community in plastic reduction initiatives.
Quantifying Plastic Use on Campus
Observations at Tritons Pub, the campus bookstore, the cafeteria, and the campus Starbucks were conducted to collect data on campus plastic consumption. The types and amounts of plastic are being recorded in hopes of finding reusable alternatives that can be implemented in these spaces. Data were used to convince the Eckerd College administration to sign and implement the Break Free from Plastic Commitment in January 2019.
Water Bottle Filling Stations
10 BRAND NEW water bottle filling stations have been purchased and have been installed around Eckerd's beautiful campus. A map of all campus filling stations can be found here.
Several DIY reusable alternative college series programs have been hosted at Eckerd college and taught students about the impacts of plastic consumption, how to make their own reusable alternatives, and what items can be properly recycled. Click here for a full list of minimal waste recipes and DIY projects.
Utensils, bamboo plates, cups, toothbrushes, and other reusable alternatives are given out by the Reduce Single-Use project through giveaways that involve and engage the Eckerd community.
Art Show - Used Once, Lasts Forever:
The competition was held on November 13, 2019 at the Eckerd College James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences. The Art Show was a one-evening exhibition of art created from recycled or found single-use plastic waste. This community-wide event aimed to increase awareness of the environmental impacts of abundant and unnecessary single-use plastic consumption while offering a creative way to repurpose discarded items. The show was part of the College Program Series, and submissions were judged by a panel of artists invited from the St. Petersburg community.
Art Contest Guidelines:
All artwork must include recycled or found single-use plastic.
All artwork must be plastic-centric, with the common theme of raising awareness to reduce single-use plastics.
Suggested media (but not limited to): sculpture, fashion, video, narrative, photography, printmaking, performance
No floor-to-ceiling pieces
12-foot x 12-foot x 12-foot maximum size
The Art Show is open to the public, but only students enrolled at Eckerd College are eligible to win monetary prizes.
Submissions are encouraged from: Eckerd College students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the Tampa Bay community. Solo and group submission will be accepted.
Performance and video submissions are limited to 10 minutes or less.