Campus residences, ASSU event planners embrace green products
The ASSU Green Store is seeing growing sales figures after a year in operation, as the group continues its campus outreach efforts.
The nonprofit store opened near the end of fall quarter 2008, with number-on-size plastic cups its signature product. The store has since expanded its line to offer a suite of green products, including Ecos detergent and power-saving Smart Strips, with new additions planned for the coming months.
Since its opening, the Green Store has sold a total of 30,000 cups, two thirds of them in the 2009-2010 academic year.
“We’ve been reaching out to a lot of the frats and houses on the row and have been encouraging bulk orders,” wrote Green Store Director Susie Choi ’12 in an e-mail to The Daily.
Some campus residences find themselves naturally aligned with the Green Store’s goals.
“Synergy decided to go with the Green Store’s cups because we as a house are committed to environmental sustainability,” wrote Synergy Community Manager Stacey Svetlichnaya ’11 in an e-mail to The Daily.
But Synergy isn’t the only house going green. Kappa Alpha has purchased 9,000 Green Store cups to date and is the largest buyer on campus.
Choi cited discounts for bulk orders and direct delivery to residences as factors that may appeal to customers.
The ASSU has also put its weight behind use of the Store’s products.
“The Executive is using Green Store products at all Executive hosted events when possible,” wrote ASSU Executive Co-Chair of Sustainability Leslie Cachola ’11 in an e-mail to The Daily.
However, sales numbers won’t fully measure the Green Store’s success. The true test of the store’s effectiveness will be the number of its cups that are diverted from landfills. Choi stressed that the Store was making follow-up efforts with customers to explain recycling procedures, which Svetlichnaya confirmed were adequate.
Some students, however, reported that awareness and widespread use of the cups was still lacking.
“I thought it would really take off,” wrote Jared Kozal ’11, a resident of Robinson, in an e-mail to The Daily. “While the Green Cups are often used at University-sponsored events, I haven’t really seen them that often at private campus parties or events in the dorm this year.”
“Unless the ASSU enacts rules making it politically unfeasible to host events without sustainable supplies,” added Kevin Baumgartner ’11 in an e-mail to The Daily, “I don’t think the Green Store is going to do very much business unless they can bring costs down.”