USC cultivates new life in used coffee cups

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USC cultivates new life in used coffee cups


23 May 2012

Biodegradable coffee cups served by the University of the Sunshine Coast’s cafes will be re-used to nurture new life this week as part of a special “100 Trees” project to highlight recycling and sustainability.

USC Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) members Daisy Cross and Jackson Kellaway and Teaching and Research Fellow Selina Tomasich will pot 100 seedlings in the used bio cups so they can be planted out by local school students during the Sunshine Coast World Environment Day festival at the USC campus on Sunday 3 June.

The annual festival is jointly organised by the Sunshine Coast Environment Council, Sunshine Coast Council, the University of the Sunshine Coast and the Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE.

100 Trees project leader Daisy Cross said the seedlings – which included bush tucker varieties like native ginger and a lemon tree – would be planted around the USC campus.

The second-year Environmental Science student said it is important to find fun ways to educate children about the environment and sustainability.

“Children are the future generation and, because we live in an industrialised world, I feel it is essential that they are educated on current environmental issues and the benefits of recycling,” Daisy said.

“Planting more trees around the University will add to the gorgeous landscape of the campus and will further promote a green campus.

“The bush tucker plants will also attract a variety of tropical birds to the area.”

Daisy said this project highlighted a good second use for the cups, which were the ideal size for growing small plants.

“Recycling is vitally important for reducing waste and promoting a sustainable and healthy earth,” she said. “As part of the 100 Trees initiative, USC SIFE will also conduct Young Entrepreneur workshops with school children and challenge them to develop a business idea using other recyclable materials.

“For example, the lids of aluminium cans have been collected in the past and melted down to build wheelchairs for people with muscular dystrophy.”

— Michelle Widdicombe

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