Group advocates for environmental sustainability
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 23:09
A zip-lock bag can be used indefinitely because the polymers are designed in a way that the surfaces do not collect bacteria. Fifty percent of car trips made in the United States are less than two miles in distance.
Second year polymer science graduate student Katrina Knauer keeps these facts in mind to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
“It’s just small, everyday choices you can make,” Knauer says. “I just try to be aware every time I make a decision in my life of how I can do this in a better way.”
Knauer started planning the Southern Miss Sustainability Advocates organization last April during Earth Week. Knauer predicts one of the biggest challenges for this organization is that the majority of students are unaware of what sustainability actually means. Many use going green and sustainability interchangeably, but there is a considerable difference between the two. Someone who buys a hybrid car is going green, while someone replacing their car with a bike is living sustainably. While both are beneficial to the environment, sustainability focuses on the most efficient use of energy and elimination of waste, according to www.genyhub.com.
The Sustainability Advocates will be participating in the upcoming Project Rake and Ride. This is a year-long project held weekly on Thursday afternoon. Members will maintain use of the Longleaf Trace in order to ultimately make Hattiesburg a more bike aware community, which is one of the goals of the organization. They will be focusing on making signs and maps that show the level of difficulty of the trails.
In addition to Project Rake and Ride, the Sustainability Advocates have plans to implement a community garden on campus. Other student groups have the opportunity to set up and tend their own plot.
Knauer and the Sustainability Advocates want to show students that numerous things can be done to the help environment. For example, the group will host upcycling workshops, which will teach members how to creatively reuse old products. They will also support the local economy, recycle on game days and petition for sidewalks and bike lanes in Hattiesburg.
“I love the idea of helping Mississippi to be more progressive and set an example for the rest of the South to follow,” junior tourism major and member of Sustainability Advocates Lauren Gaudet said. “I believe our group can help students understand their decisions truly have an effect. There are much better ways of doing things.”