This year, ZAMORANO joined the United Nations in their effort to beat plastic pollution. The student community, teachers, administrators, private companies, government authorities and municipalities neighboring the University were present at the inauguration of the Environment Week reflecting on the challenge of reducing the human impact on natural resources, focused on how to eradicate the use of plastic.
“When we think about the problem that the use of tons of plastic to create single-use products, such as non-biodegradable plastic bags and straws, represent to the environment; we tend to forget the power that the consumer has to pressure companies to abandon the use of such products,” declared Eric van den Berghe, Associate Professor of the Department of Environment and Development. “If the consumer demands, the market supplies. Therefore, in this Week of the Environment we are invited to ponder on the phrase: if you cannot reuse it, refuse it.”
The eradication of plastic is just one of the many initiatives to which we are invited to be a part of. Rosibel Martínez Arriaga, Director of External Cooperation and Resources Mobilization from SERNA Honduras (MiAmbiente); Olvin Andino, Mayor of the Municipality of San Francisco; and Janio Rolando Borjas, Representative of the DINANT Corporation; all reflected on the plastic crisis and agreements that will guide the government actions to protect the environment, the opportunity to harvest water in response to the scarcity of this resource and the fight to protect animals in danger of extinction.
Our Director of Environment and Development, Erika Tenorio, explains, “As an agricultural university we are aware of our role in finding sustainable alternatives to feed the world.” She shared how each department of the University contributes with concrete actions for environmental protection. Amongst the most important initiatives is the initiative to return to the mission of generating an environmental policy for ZAMORANO, which will systematically guide innovative ideas that seek to reduce the impact of human action on the environment, emphasizing on water and clean energy production.
ZAMORANO’s environmental actions are carried out on and off campus. The students have promoted campaigns for no food waste in the cafeteria and reducing the use of plastic. They have involved even the youngest in the community while giving talks, showing documentaries, doing outdoor activities and undertaking reuse projects. Allied with international organizations, ZAMORANO has been involved in the execution of environmental management projects, such as the project of Strengthening of Environmental Management in Adaptation to Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction, performed thanks to the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
“We have started with a campus without plastic bottles for water campaign, we have promoted solar energy … but there is much more to do. I am waiting for your ideas,” said Mr. Richard Voswinckel, a member of ZAMORANO Board of Trustees, who challenged the students to design projects to reduce the use of plastic on campus. The best project will be awarded 1,000 USD.
Always remember: if you cannot reuse it, refuse it!