The Lehigh Bookstore is giving customers who decline a single-use plastic bag with their purchase an EcoCoin.

EcoCoin Encourages Sustainability, Supports Student Organizations

Customers receive an EcoCoin each time they decline a single-use plastic bag when making a purchase at Lehigh's bookstore.

Story by

Stephen Gross

Photography by

Audrey McSain

Buying a new Lehigh cap or sweatshirt at the university’s bookstore can now help support student organizations on campus, thanks to a partnership between the Office of Sustainability and the Lehigh Bookstore.

The EcoCoin Program, which began in January, awards customers with an “EcoCoin” each time they decline a single-use plastic bag when making a purchase at the bookstore. Customers then choose which student organization they’d like to support by depositing the coin in a corresponding collection bin. EcoCoins have monetary value and the funds raised will be donated to the selected organizations.

Customer deposits EcoCoin

 A customer deposits their EcoCoin to support a student organization on campus. (Nora Thomson '22)

Each year, two organizations will be selected and groups cannot be selected in consecutive years. The Eco-Rep Leadership Program and Outing Club were selected for the 2022 calendar year by members of the Undergraduate Student Senate and Lehigh Sustainability Council, after being nominated by the student body.

The EcoCoin Program is tied to one of the goals in Lehigh’s Sustainability Strategic Plan 2030: to develop an incentive program at the bookstore to encourage customers to opt-out of single-use plastic bags by 2022 and eliminate single-use plastic bags at the bookstore by 2025.

Story by

Stephen Gross

Photography by

Audrey McSain

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