Skip to content

Student campaign pushes to eliminate single-use plastic bottles on campus

Photo of Alec Stransky

Alec Stransky, SSH'18, is the creator of the "NU Day, Same Bottle" campaign at Northeastern.

It’s a new day, but you should be using the same reusable bottle.

That’s the mes­sage of a new campus-​​wide stu­dent ini­tia­tive to elim­i­nate single-​​use plastic bot­tles at North­eastern and fur­ther the university’s efforts to sus­tain the health of the environment.

Alec Stransky, SSH’18, cre­ated the “NU Day, Same Bottle” cam­paign, which asks mem­bers of the entire uni­ver­sity com­mu­nity to pledge to reduce their use of single-​​use plastic bot­tles. Another cam­paign goal is to elim­i­nate the offering of drinks in plastic bot­tles at student-​​organized events.

Stransky is working in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Northeastern’s Stu­dent Gov­ern­ment Asso­ci­a­tion and the Husky Envi­ron­mental Action Team. He has also received sup­port from inter­na­tional non-​​profit orga­ni­za­tions including Bureo Skate­boards.

I’m just gen­er­ally dis­heart­ened by being a bystander and seeing society know­ingly destroy itself,” said Stransky. “I want this cam­paign to make a change at North­eastern and pro­vide an oppor­tu­nity for the com­mu­nity to be exposed to the full envi­ron­mental impacts of such a sim­plistic product.”

I under­stand people won’t avoid using plastic bot­tles entirely, but they don’t have to go through five in one day.”

One of the first North­eastern stu­dent groups to sign on to Stransky’s cam­paign was the Peer Health Exchange at North­eastern, which works to give teenagers the knowl­edge and skills they need to make healthy decisions.

Our vol­un­teers are socially aware, con­sci­en­tious of their envi­ron­ment, and value change that pos­i­tively impacts our com­mu­nity,” North­eastern PHE co-​​coordinators Aaron Yagoda and Can­dice Quarella, both BHS’16, said in an email. “To no sur­prise, our chapter will sup­port this ini­tia­tive whole­heart­edly. Making this pledge is an easy way to reduce our carbon foot­print and lead by example. We encourage all stu­dent groups on campus to do the same.”

Stransky got the idea for “NU Day, Same Bottle” while plan­ning an event for Delta Tau Delta Fra­ter­nity and deciding it wouldn’t offer drinks that come in plastic bot­tles. Stransky said he felt he could grow this into a campus-​​wide ini­tia­tive because using fewer plastic bot­tles is simple to do given the large amount of refill sta­tions around campus.

Every day you see people guzzle through mul­tiple plastic bot­tles,” he said. “And I under­stand people won’t avoid using plastic bot­tles entirely, but they don’t have to go through five in one day.”

Stransky has penned pledges for both indi­vid­uals and stu­dent groups to sign. He offi­cially launched the cam­paign last month, and hopes to have at least 200 stu­dent groups sign the pledge by December.

I want the North­eastern stu­dent body to be a leader not just in reducing plastic bottle use, but also in gaining a deeper under­standing of product lifestyles,” Stransky noted. “This cam­paign will hope­fully edu­cate the com­mu­nity on how simple, uncer­e­mo­nious daily rou­tines have a large impact on the envi­ron­ment and our own health.”

-By Joe O’Connell

More Stories

Photo of the Capitol Building at night

High stakes for politics, SCOTUS in 2018

Photo of the crashed truck that was used in the October 31st attack in Manhattan.

Weaponizing Language: How the meaning of “allahu akbar” has been distorted

Northeastern logo

Why I love studying Spanish