Giving Old Objects a New Purpose

Toreros' Donations Help Endangered Wildlife

In spring of 2019, the USD Office of Sustainability put together a project to help Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, a rehabilitation center for orphaned and injured wild animals. The Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, located in western North Carolina, also provides emergency care for these animals. According to their website, the number of animals found in crisis is increasing every year.

Climate change will continue to devaste fragile animal ecosystems. The World Wildlife Foundation reports that, “Sea levels are rising and the oceans are becoming warmer. Longer, more intense droughts threaten crops, wildlife and freshwater supplies. From polar bears in the Arctic to marine turtles off the coast of Africa, our planet’s diversity of life is at risk from the changing climate.”

To combat this startling fact and help give new life to a typically disposable item, the Office of Sustainability held a campaign to collect used mascara wands.  These wands were cleaned and sent to the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, to be used as a tool to remove fly eggs and larvae from the fur and feathers of wild animals.  Cleaned mascara wands are uniquely suited to this task, as the tiny bristles are ideal for small animals.

Collection bins were placed in the residence halls, Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, Copley Library, Mata’yuum Crossroads, the Legal Research Center, the Student Leadership Involvement Center, and at the Facilities Management Administration Building.

The Office of Sustainability collected over 100 mascara wands, with the bulk of donations coming from residence halls. These wands, which would have otherwise been destined for a landfill, will be given new life and help injured and orphaned animals find their way back to health.

Great job donating, Toreros!


Alison Sanchirico
(619) 260-7530