For our junior year writing course, we were given the assignment to write a proposal to fix something on campus. As students passionate about sustainability, our group elected to improve an aspect of campus we thought could boost our universities impressive green reputation. We all realized receipt printing is a large and wasteful process at UMassAmherst while both large-scale stores such as Home Depot and smaller venues in downtown Amherst were able to implement an e-receipt system which saves money and resources. Although this proposal started as a class project, our group found through our research that this idea had true potential because it was economically and environmentally efficient. The school spends about $60,000 per year on these receipts and upwards of 10,000receipts are printed per day on purchases usually totaling less than $10. This is problematic because the paper these receipts come on are not compostable or recyclable and can contain BPA, a harmful toxin which can enter the bloodstream dermally. We took our project a step further and met with the UMass Amherst IT team and the retail dining services director, Mr. Van Sullivan, to discuss the implementation of our proposal. They read our proposal and heard our case and it is now officially on their list of sustainable things to improve within the next 5 years on campus.
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