For the second year in a row, Temple will be offering students the opportunity to recycle their graduation gowns. This year, the focus is on the future reuse of gowns.
Students can donate their gowns to the Office of Sustainability, which will donate them to next year’s graduates.
Gowns will be collected at locations around Main and Ambler campuses after Commencement on Thursday, May 10. Collection bins will be set up at Main Campus at parking lots, Cecil B. Moore subway station, the Temple regional rail station, in front of the Student Center and near popular photo locations, such as the Founder's Garden, the Alumni Circle and the Bell Tower. At Ambler, gowns will be collected at the reception held in the formal gardens.
In exchange for donating their gowns, students will receive a 15 percent discount coupon redeemable at the Temple University Bookstore. Students will receive their coupons at the collection bins.
The gown swap program is part of Temple’s overall initiative to reduce waste and promote sustainability. As part of that effort, each graduation gown is made from 23 recycled plastic bottles.
Organizers say the program is not only good for the environment, it also helps future graduates save some green.
“While it helps the environment, it saves students a little bit of money from year to year,” said Robert Polizzano, a 2012 Fox graduate who is helping with the program. “Instead of paying $70 for a cap and gown, the swap program will allow students to borrow the gowns and return them after graduation.”
Polizzano knows, however, that it might be a challenge to get graduates to part with their gowns. “There is a sentimental value attached to them, so some people might not like to give them up,” he said. “But the gowns just sit in the closet and never get used again.”
Polizzano is hoping to collect 100 gowns this year and hopes to see the program expanded to Temple’s other campuses.