Hubs and Kisses is an annual event, held by the Office of Sustainability and the University of Oregon’s Outdoor Program. This event reuses old bike parts and scrap paper to make Valentine’s Day cards. This workshop not only practices reuse but also celebrates what we love – zero waste and each other! This annual event gives everyone the chance to get their hands dirty and their creativity gears turning. Reusing materials is a great way to creatively prevent waste through the creation of hearts, clever puns, and everyone having a great time. 65 students attended to build unique and sustainable valentine’s for their beloveds.
Hubs and Kisses happens as part of our participation in RecycleMania, the largest intercollegiate recycling competition, with over 300 schools participating in the US and Canada. University of Oregon (UO) simultaneously participates in a local competition with Oregon State University (OSU) called the Oregon Classic. These competitions are a great opportunity to think about waste prevention. In addition to Hubs and Kisses, we hosted several great reuse workshops during the 2020 competition, with partners across campus and community. These workshops serve to demonstrate ways to creatively upcycle items to prevent waste.
Describing the importance of reuse during RecycleMania, Robyn Hathcock, program manager in the Office of Sustainability, said, “Recycling is one piece of managing waste. Reused resources go farther and have a greater environmental savings impact than recycling alone. RecycleMania is an opportunity to make the idea of reuse fun and approachable. To demonstrate this behavior during the competition the Office of Sustainability holds workshops focused on re-using items such as clothing with screen-printing, scrap paper through button making, and old bike parts into valentines during ‘Hubs and Kisses.’ These events are great ways to prevent waste by practicing reuse.” In total, 274 students attended reuse craft events during RecycleMania 2020.
During the competition, the weights of materials including paper, cardboard, glass, metals, plastics, and organic materials are measured and rated on a per-capita total. During the eight weeks of the competition (which was disrupted near the end by the COVID-19 pandemic), UO recycled 261,433 lbs or 130.7 tons. OSU won the day again this year in the Oregon Classic but coordinators at both schools are collaborating on ways to make next year’s competition even more fun and competitive.
Thank you to all our partners who help make RecycleMania possible – UO’s Zero Waste Program, Housing, Residence Hall Association, Outdoor Program, and Student Sustainability Center; community partners St. Vincent de Paul, Sanipac, International Paper, and Sequential Biofuels; and all the students, faculty, and staff who participate during the competition. RecycleMania and the Oregon Classic are collaborative co-events!