ASB’s waste-free week reduces excess disposables

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Free hot chocolate. Free juice. Free popcorn. 

That’s right. Free. If you bring a reusable container.

During waste-free week, the Spirit commission of Carlmont’s Associated Student Body (ASB) gave out free snacks and beverages to students who brought reusable containers and charged $1 to those who didn’t.

According to Jackson Tam, facilitator of the Finance commission, the Spirit commission used money from their commission budget to pay for the free popcorn and drinks. At the beginning of the year, ASB distributes its funds to each commission in ASB, and students fundraise if they need funds throughout the year.

“The goal was to spread environmental awareness while also giving something to the students,” said Melina Dimick, the facilitator of the Spirit commission. “You can have free hot chocolate if you bring your own mug, and if you still want hot chocolate but you don’t happen to have a mug, you can buy a paper cup for $1.”

Sophia Stone, a junior, was encouraged to participate because the beverages were free. She realized that people don’t use reusable cups all the time because it’s inconvenient.  

“I think sometimes people don’t like holding their cups, and it’s easier just to get one when you’re there,” Stone said. “[We could all use] a reminder of how bad plastic is for the environment.”

Parents from the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) volunteering at the Student Store haven’t noticed ASB’s waste-free week affecting sales. One parent, Jessica Mattioli, thinks it’s hard to break bad habits but has ideas to encourage environmentalism.

“If people don’t have the ability just to grab a single-use container, they will be forced to plan ahead and bring their own container,” Mattioli said. “We also need more filling stations like water filling stations … in the community.”

Dimick said that the Spirit commission is planning to have more events like this one and has created a special subcommittee in preparation for Earth Day.

“We’re going to do a couple more Waste-free Wednesdays … leading up to Earth Day and take pictures of people who bring their mugs. We’re also going to do an environmental awareness photo booth and take pictures, and then make it into a video that students can watch on YouTube or their teachers will show them in class,” Dimick said.