It is unusual not to read, listen or think about topics in the 21st century like sustainability, friendly environment, recycling, composting, greenhouse gases emissions and related environmental issues that can and will have an effect on us throughout our lives.
Many cities in the United States understand the consequences if changes are not in place. And the State College Borough, too, is coming along with friendly environmental actions.
The borough is following up with changes the world needs.
Since 2005 the entire fleet of buses from the Centre Area Transportation Authority run exclusively on clean natural gas, or CNG.
This fossil fuel is commonly found in the U.S. The Center County Recycle & Refuse Authority recycling hangar in Bellefonte, which takes practically any object but blue prints.
The labeled trash containers for recycling objects all over University Park is also a noticeable step taken locally toward a more environmentally friendly community.
One of the most recent additions was during fall of 2011 in some of the State College Borough Council meetings when the development of an idea in having automated collection through three sizes of trash bins specific for refuse and organic waste — anything that comes from plants or animals that is biodegradable — set to start at the end of 2012.
Because of the smaller scale of this community, new ideas can be easily brought to the table and the quality of life can be improved.
Why would you have countless specific trash containers for recycling products, varying from newspapers to cans, in almost every floor of every department on campus — and then leave only regular trash cans in which refuse and recyclable waste are combined when it comes to the State College downtown area?
The simple attitude of bringing the same recycling trash containers down to the business center of town can reduce the borough’s environmental footprint.
Also when you have the main campus from one of the nation’s top research universities in your backyard, as State College does, you should make the most out of it.
The borough could do this by creating close ties and supporting studies into how to have a higher quality of life in the community — especially when there is an entire center dedicated to the subject, like the Penn State Center for Sustainability.
With programs at the center such as the Careers in Sustainability initiative, State College could develop more energy efficient and cleaner fuel for its public transportation.
Natural gas is a cleaner fossil fuel than oil and diesel, but not as much some might think.
Another quick and easy sustainable implementation in transportation in State College relates to bicycles.
I lived in Los Angeles for almost three years and I observed the addition of new white bicycle lanes next to the curbs on hundreds of streets, even in the downtown area.
These would encourage citizens to choose bicycles over cars — thousands of Angelenos adopted the cyclist approach to transportation, and so did I.
This source of initiative can add more bicycles groups to the crowds of bikers that already ride around campus, like the well-recognized “Happy Thursday” group.
It would influence residents to follow the same path if painted bike lanes were part of major streets like Atherton Street, Allen Street and College Avenue.
The borough’s negative environmental impact would drop.
And if you own a car, you may remember the peaking gas prices at $3.936 on April 4, so this should get you motivated to change your transportation method while in State College.
As the future unfolds, State College should keep up looking forward to partnerships with the university as well as its own initiatives to make life healthier and happier in the valley.
Eric Visintainer is a senior majoring in print journalism and is The Daily Collegian’s Thursday columnist. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.