Keep Our Campus Beautiful
March 7, 2022
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton
As the end of the spring semester approaches, many future Sam Houston State University graduates are beginning to pose for fun photos around our beautiful campus. Recently, confetti-toss photos have soared in popularity as each graduate puts their unique touch on the pictures they snap. But, did you know that those tiny bits of plastic can do more harm than good and ruin some of the most beautiful spots on campus such as the Blatchley Bell Tower and Old Main pit for months? Confetti and glitter are micro plastics that are not biodegradable. These bits of trash are washed down storm drains, ultimately impacting water quality and marine life in the area.
It also causes a strain on the SHSU staff who maintain our beautiful campus. Graduation season can set the maintenance crew back with hours of work trying to pick up these tiny pieces. While no one is asking students to not celebrate their big accomplishment, the glitter is litter campaign aims to encourage students to be mindful of our campus beauty when taking photos.
Throwing confetti and glitter on the ground is not only littering, but harmful to the environment too. Sam Houston State is home to chickens, ducks, squirrels and countless other wildlife. The confetti trash left on the ground is often consumed by wildlife, harming animals on campus.
Many years ago it was common practice to throw rice at the end of weddings to celebrate. However, after discovering how detrimental this was to animals, many people have turned to other alternatives for their grand send off like bird seed or sparklers. Biologist Alan Byboth, who manages the Center for Biological Field Studies at SHSU, hopes a similar trend is started with the confetti toss.
“I think we need to grow out of this confetti trend because anything you throw on the ground doesn’t go away, it just goes somewhere else,” Byboth said. “They are not really biodegradable, so something will end up ingesting it and causing harm or it will go further downstream in another beautiful spot that will get littered somewhere else.”
Environmentally friendly alternatives to confetti or glitter include rose petals, leaves, eco-glitter, bubbles or a Photoshop filter or overlay.
Remember grads, glitter is litter. Please set a good example for all Bearkats by keeping our campus beautiful. If you see plastic confetti on the ground, pick it up. You’re helping protect animals and our water. For more information and helpful tips please visit our website about the new initiative. So this semester, when searching for the perfect pose to get those Instagram likes, let’s graduate from glitter.
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