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Bring Reusable Kitchen Items to Earth Day

A group of medical school students from the Class of 2018 has formed a new campus organization aimed at helping the school grow greener and more sustainable. You can help them on Earth Day.

“As medical students, being health conscience is very important for us, and the health of the environment is vital for public health,” said Philip Feinberg, co-president of the T.H. Chan School of Medicine’s Student Body Committee and co-founder of the new student group called WOOcycle.

The students are working closely with medical school’s Sustainability Committee to promote increased recycling on campus through better communication and expanded placement of recycling bins. For their first public project, WOOcycle is seeking donations at Earth Day of reusable kitchen items like utensils, plates, cups and bowls to stock the student lounge kitchen. The idea is to reduce or eliminate the use of disposal kitchenware.

“We hope to collect enough not only for the lounge, but also to lend out to groups who have functions on campus so they don’t have to buy and use disposable products,” Feinberg said.

In addition to Feinberg, the founding members of WOOcycle are: Raghu Appasani, Melanie Donahue, Jessica Fournier, Steven Krueger , Amanda Winkler , Camilla Yu and Emily Ziady.

The Earth Day celebration on campus this year is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the school lobbies. People can drop off kitchenware for the students at the UMass Chan Growing Green table.

“We are thrilled to have students involved and taking action,” said Suzanne Wood, sustainability and energy manager at UMass Chan. “I hope the community responds and supports the kitchenware collection effort.”

WOOcycle is now an informal student group, but Feinberg and his colleagues are working to make it an officially sanctioned student group. An important step in that process is to recruit a faculty advisor for the group. Anyone interested in serving as an advisor is encouraged to contact Feinberg or Yu.

“Recycling is our first initiative, because we think the campus could be doing a lot better,” Feinberg said.