March 12, 2015
Clean Up the Environment, better known as CUTE, is a student club at Texas Tech University dedicated to creating a sustainable environment on campus.
Members of CUTE help to promote campus recycling initiatives, raise awareness about reduction of energy consumption and create ways for residence halls to reuse materials.
Caitlin Cole, committee chair of CUTE, said the club plans and participates in programs both on and off campus to help clean up the environment.
CUTE currently has 24 members, but always is happy to welcome newcomers. Anyone living on campus can join.
“Last semester we had a program to collect electronic waste such as old batteries,” Cole said. “We ended up collecting over 15 pounds of waste.”
CUTE was created four years ago as a way for the Residence Halls Association (RHA) to promote sustainability and recycling on campus. It hosts campus cleanup days once a semester in which members and other volunteers work to beautify Texas Tech's campus.
“As a committee we try to find and work on high priority areas of campus that maybe have a little more trash than other areas,” Cole said. “We walk around in small groups per area assigned and collect trash and recyclables.”
The club received a tour of the recycling center on campus on Jan. 30. Cole said it was great to see how the facilities worked and what work was going on.
CUTE also hosted a hot chocolate giveaway in front of residence halls in January.
“The first day of class, we were set up in front of Stangel/Murdough,” Cole said. “This was the day that we had light snow flurries and ended up giving away all of our hot cocoa for the day in only 30 minutes. The second day we were in front of Horn/Knapp. This day was a little slower, but we still gave out all of our hot cocoa and mugs. Over the two-day event we handed out close to 300 reusable mugs of hot cocoa.”
CUTE currently is participating in the nationwide recycling contest Recyclemania in partnership with the Texas Tech Recycling center with Jackie Kimbler, Melanie Tatum, and Holly Bosak, which started in February and goes through March. This is the third year Texas Tech has participated in the program. Cole said the club created two internal contests this year: one between student organizations and faculty departments, the other between residence hall complexes. For more information about the contests, visit the tables outside the Student Union Building (SUB) or in the residence halls.
The club participated in a dumpster dive from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 9 outside the SUB.
“We went through all the items in the dumpsters to lay out all the recyclable items in order to show how much we are throwing away that can actually be recycled,” Cole said.
The club will host a recycling raid to help students living in residence halls clean out their rooms before spring break. CUTE hosts its recycling Olympics in the Student Union Building West Plaza on March 25. A campus cleanup will occur from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. March 29 and April 19 starting at the Leadership Development Center near the Murray/Carpenter-Wells Residence Complex.
The club is working on sending a few members to the Texas Campus Sustainability Summit in March, Cole said. CUTE plans to host a free screening of the Disney Earth Day movie on April 19. They also will participate in Arbor Day on April 24.
Together with RHA, CUTE strives to help keep Texas Tech beautiful and educate residents about how to positively contribute to their community and environment.