Fair raises environmental knowledge

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Hritik Pathak

Gearing towards a better environment for Southern Miss, the Office of Sustainability held an environmental fair in Shoemaker Square Wednesday, April 17. People at nine booths provided information about local general stores, tobacco and its effect on the environment, honey and bees and general information about the earth.

A representative from the Office of Sustainability, Melissa Covington-Olsen, said she hoped to inspire students to improve the environment.

The hope is on campus,” Covington-Olsen said. “Once we introduce students to these issues, they will develop skills for producing environmental change through community engagement. Once they leave the university, they can continue building on the knowledge they have gained and apply that to issues that they are most passionate about.”

Covington-Olsen said the Office of Sustainability gets to shine by promoting their platform throughout the week.  

The Office of Sustainability is moving to create a healthier environment by implementing more recycling bins around campus to not only continue bringing about awareness of environmental concerns but also to encourage students to be interactive with the campus and earth itself.

Students got involved in the fair as well. Bryce Moore, a junior communications major participating with the Moffitt Health Center, came to share news and facts about tobacco and its harm on the environment.

“There are so many ways in which tobacco harms the environment, and one of the ways is that tobacco is one of the most polluted items in the world. If we’re really going to promote having a healthy environment, we need to make sure that we limit the amount of tobacco litter,” Moore said.

Moore said there was an event entitled Kick Butts Day in March, where students were encouraged to go around and pick up cigarettes around campus. Moore said they noticed that there was an abundance of the products on the grounds of Southern Miss.

Moore said people should start protecting the environment for future inhabitants and promote sustainability with children.

Nkrumah Frazier, the sustainability officer of the City of Hattiesburg, said he has had an interest in sustainability efforts for most of his life.

“I grew up in the country, so to me, the most valuable thing about earth is day that it’s a celebration promoting the idea that the earth is worth saving. We only have one planet; if we destroy this one, where are we going to go?” Frazier said.