Emily Mixon

Roughly 3,900 boxes were stacked together in the shape of Bevo for America Recycles Day to demonstrate the University’s commitment to recycling.

Campus Environmental Center members began building the fort early Friday morning with the help of 800 volunteers and finished within a few hours.

The box fort was designed to break Duke University’s record of 3,500 boxes, which was achieved over the summer.

Emily Mixon, Plan II and geography senior and  Campus Environmental Center director, said the organization has been collecting boxes since August from various local businesses and dining halls around campus.

“I grew up in Austin and have been around this culture, but we have students who might not have come from a background where they realize the impact that waste has on the environment,” Mixon said.


The Campus Environmental Center also promoted UT’s switch to single stream recycling, a new system where no sorting is required for papers, plastics, glass and other materials. Mixon said this new system would hopefully make it easier for students to recycle.

Karen Blaney, the Office of Sustainability program coordinator, partnered with Campus Environmental Center to build the fort and run the sustainability fair in the afternoon.

“There’s a lot of confusion about whether UT is really committed to recycling or not,” Blaney said. “The message for the day is that we do it and care about it.”

The fair allowed students to learn about recycling on campus and participate in the fort’s deconstruction at the end of the day.

The Trash to Treasure sale and fundraiser moved its location this fall to Gregory Gym Plaza with hopes of reaching more students.  

The Trash to Treasure fundraiser, which is sponsored by the Campus Environmental Center, sells donated items like clothing, shoes and other goods every semester to raise awareness about sustainability and raise money for the center's events. Emily Mixon, plan II honors geography senior and director of the event said the sale is usually held at the Flawn Academic Center.

“This morning is a lot busier than I’ve seen it before,” Mixon said.

 Mixon said the fundraiser usually raises around $2,000, and the funds go toward other eco-friendly initiatives.

“This is our main fundraiser for the year and one of my favorite events,” Mixon said. “It’s not blatantly about going green. So I feel like we get to reach out to a lot of students who might shy away from that or might think that it doesn’t apply to them.”

The organization diverts about three tons of materials from landfills, Mixon said.

“A lot of [the items are] perfectly good stuff, but most of it would have been thrown away,” Mixon said. “Just because I don’t want something doesn’t mean it isn’t good, [which] I feel like happens so often within our society and especially college students.”

Mixon said the items that are not sold will most likely go back into storage for the next sale that will take place in March, but said the organization is partnered with Goodwill and donates clothing items to them as well.