21 day plastic free challenge comes to the Keweenaw

Mason Liagre, News Editor

A group of Michigan Tech students and staff are organizing an initiative to abstain from single use plastics for three weeks.

The idea originated from graduate student Karuna Rana. After experiencing a similar undertaking in her home country of Mauritius, Rana decided to bring the positive impact she saw there to the Keweenaw.

The challenge is open to the entire Houghton-Hancock area and will start April 1. Participants will cut out single use plastics for 21 days, including things like clamshell packaging, soda bottles and milk jugs.

Plastic is considered to be harmful to the environment due to the fact that it does not biodegrade due to its inorganic nature, and can last for hundreds of years in landfills.

Organizer Anna DeBraber comments, “Our hope is to see individual change turn into institutional change as Michigan Tech and the Houghton Hancock community move towards a sustainable future.”

The duration comes from the idea that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Other less daunting challenges will be presented to participants each day, such as bringing a fabric bag to the grocery store or utilizing a reusable water bottle.

DeBraber also says, “This institutional sustainability is important on a moral level as we have responsibility to the land and our future. It is also a key opportunity for Tech to be the leader that we believe it can be, following examples of other universities to develop innovative solutions to the global issue of sustainability.”

Notably, the Tech Forward initiatives are to be presented and evaluated on April 17.