As students returned to UNH, many found themselves stopping by the “Trash 2 Treasure” yard sale.  Trash 2 Treasure is a program that collects items that would be disposed of when students are moving out in May and sells them back to students when they return in August.  This program has diverted over 100 tons of waste from landfills and has been running for six years.
Trash 2 Treasure isn’t the only student run environmental initiative underway at UNH. There is also Divest UNH, a campaign pushing UNH to divest its endowment from fossil fuels companies.  In addition to these two student orgs there is “Choose 2 Reuse,” a campaign working to ban plastic water bottles on campus.
The environmental organizing that is happening at UNH is incredible but students alone aren’t going to solve an issue as monumental as climate change–to address an issue of this scale requires global action.  Last year, nations from around the world convened in Paris to come up with a plan to address climate change, the outcome was the Paris Climate Accord.  This was the first time nations from around the world were able to create a comprehensive plan to address climate change.
However this agreement isn’t perfect.  There is no system in place to ensure countries stick to the emission cuts they agreed to and even if all the countries do hit their emission targets the global temperature is expected to rise between 2.7º and 3.5º Celcius.
Scientists have stated that anything above 2º warming would be catastrophic for our planet.  This is why it is so important that student orgs like Trash 2 Treasure, Divest UNH and Choose 2 Reuse continue to fight climate change on the local level.
But as I previously stated we need global action and the Paris Climate Accord is a huge step in toward what this crisis demands.  As one might expect Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wants to dismantle the Paris Climate Accord.  In his own special blend of ignorance and racism Trump also stated, “Climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese.”  That is why I see voting this election vitally important to sustaining a livable planet.  While the work that UNH students are doing to combat climate change by divesting from fossil fuels, diverting waste from landfills and banning plastic water bottles is vitally important, it is just as important to vote. So let’s get out to the polls on Nov. 8 and vote for climate champions.
If you are looking to get involved, Divest UNH is holding a new member meeting on 9/14 at 7 p.m. in room 340 at the Memorial Union Building (MUB), Trash 2 Treasure meets every week in MUB 139 at 6 p.m. and Choose 2 Reuse meets every week in MUB 139 at 8 p.m.
-griffin sinclair-wingate,
UNH senior

Executive Editor