Opinion: It’s not easy being green at Loyola


Cristian Orellana

A student throws away a non-recyclable Smoothie King cup in the Communications and Music Complex. Garretty is frustrated with the lack of eco-friendly options at Loyola's Smoothie King. Cristian Orellana // The Maroon Photo credit: Cristian Orellana

Katelyn Fecteau

Shannon Garretty



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I think everyone wants to go green. Or at least isn’t opposed to the idea if it is just as easy as the alternative.

I recently came across a BuzzFeed video that showed me how easy it would be to be more ecologically kind in one aspect of my life. In the video, the Los Angeles BuzzFeed office goes a month without using straws. At first, I thought this was stupid, but then I realized there were eight smoothie king cups in my trash can and at least two in my car (yes, I have a problem; no I don’t want help.) The point being, I drink a lot of smoothies out of plastic foam cups that take centuries to biodegrade, and each time I get a different plastic straw that also takes centuries to break down, if it does at all. Depending on environmental factors such as humidity and access to air, the plastic foam may not break down at all.

In BuzzFeed’s video, they showcase a company that makes glass straws, but I am not gonna spend money on that when some of my textbooks are $235. Also, there is no way I am not going to feel like an idiot carrying around a glass straw.

I was gifted a 32-ounce Yeti cup with a reusable straw and a Smoothie King medium drink is, get this, 32 ounces. Perfect right? I literally already own the solution to my problem. I was about to be so green.

But I wasn’t according to the Smoothie King on campus. “They don’t want us to do that,” I was told Tuesday morning. It wasn’t their fault, and I wasn’t angry with the ladies who work at our Smoothie King. But damn was I disappointed as I poured my smoothie from the plastic foam cup into my Yeti cup and then threw the plastic foam one away. The Starbucks on campus allows students to use reusable mugs for their coffee, why can’t Smoothie King allow a more eco-friendly option?

They are doing a good thing by creating a cost-effective and green option, which is something Loyola acts like it wants. We have recycling bins all around campus. We have an environmental studies program, and we are supposed to be a university with and for others. This would be such an easy and cost-efficient way to be green, and for a reason that totally eludes me, we don’t do it. In my opinion, if our university wants to live out its Jesuit values and better our community in real ways, the easiest question to ask is: “Do you have a cup you would like us to put that in for you?” Because yes, I do.