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Environmental caring in carry-out box

4:13 PM, Apr 7, 2008   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida – Lunch on campus is a time for students to kick back and relax, but at Eckerd College students are also thinking green when they pick up their greens.

Some students are now showing environmental caring by carrying a green, plastic take-out box called the EcoClamshell.

“It’s better for the environment and you don’t have to throw it away,” says marine biology major Chelsea Link.

The whole thing started about two years ago when then Eckerd sophomore Audrey Copeland started thinking outside the box. She started researching how much polystyrene was being thrown away on campus. More than 10,000 boxes a year filling the local landfill didn’t sit right with Copeland and with the help of a $32,000 grant from the Environmental Research and Education Foundation the reusable EcoClamshell was born.

“There’s not a lot of things these days where you can say it’s good for the environment and it saves money up front and this particular system does,” says Copeland.

Students pay $5 for an EcoClamshell and when they come to the campus café, they exchange a used one for one that’s been sanitized in the café’s industrial dishwasher.

Marine Biology major Jayce G says it’s all pretty simple, “As a science major I’ve always cared about the environment and just didn’t want to throw away as much garbage.”

The green box that looks so much like a white polystyrene container is such a simple thing, you’re surprised that no one had thought of it before; and maybe the did, but it took a young woman concerned about the environment to make it happen.

“Yeah, I’m very proud of it. I think it’s a good thing,” says Copeland.

For more information on the EcoClamshell you can email Copeland at or click here.

Kathryn Bursch, Tampa Bay's 10 News

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