If you're graduating within the next few weeks, you've probably got a lot on your plate. Some people are planning parties, others are getting ready to move home, and many are getting dressed up and taking pictures to announce their accomplishments.
Every year, our social media accounts are hit with a wave of graduation photos. It is not surprising that many students want to document their finals days on campus, and they take fun pictures to celebrate all that they have been able to do.
However, when it comes to those pictures, some people are making careless mistakes.
While walking through campus the past few weeks, I have noticed something new that I am not used to. That thing is confetti. Bits of plastic and paper fluttering around our beautiful grounds, sticking out like sore thumbs against the lush greens.
Every day, the piles of confetti get more and more prominent, especially near the most picturesque areas on campus. All I can think about is how many squirrels, birds, and other critters are going to mistake the plastic scraps for food.
At Missouri State University, our groundskeepers spend their days doing their best to make sure our campus looks its best.
In the hot months, they spend hours outside mowing the grass, sculpting trees, collecting bits of trash that float around campus, and much more. In the fall they rake leaves for days on end, even when they can't feel their fingers.
Hailey Gastler, a groundskeeper on the MSU campus takes note of the bits of confetti she's seen all around campus as graduation approaches.
"It's just really sad because there's no possible way to clean all of it up. And, if we don't get it, then it just goes into the grass and hurts all of the plants and creatures that come in contact with it. It's not biodegradable and the pieces blow around so much that you never know where they're going to end up."
Her suggestion? Make confetti out of fallen leaves or flower petals.
This can be done using a hole puncher or just by ripping up pieces of it. By doing this, you still have many different color choices and you know you're being kind to the environment. When that confetti blows away, it does not make a negative impact on the environment.
Another option is to purchase biodegradable glitter. It's a little more expensive than regular glitter, but it can be found on Amazon and causes much less harm to the environment. Not only is it an easy change, but it's also a smart one too.
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