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News Sustainability Month educates students, faculty on environment

Sustainability Month educates students, faculty on environment

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October is Campus Sustainability Month for The University of Southern Mississippi. This is a campus wide event hosted annually by the Office of Sustainability, which sees a greater push for an eco-friendly campus.

“Sustainability Month gives us the opportunity to engage with the campus community not only on environmental aspects, but to educate them on the different facets of economic and social sustainability,” said Melissa Covington-Olsen, the Office of Sustainability’s Chief Coordinator.

Several events are being held either on campus or virtually for students, faculty and staff to raise awareness within the community about effective ways to maintain the environment.

“We feel it helps by bringing attention to those who are not fully aware of how wasteful we as people can be,” said Covington-Olsen. 

The events include, but are not limited to, the Bra-Vo Donation Drive, Global Climate Change week and the Virtual Recycle Trivia Game.

Since October is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Bra-Vo Donation Drive, lasting throughout the entire month, is collecting gently used bras in bins around campus. By collecting these bras, the Office of Sustainability hopes not only to reduce the quantity of textiles being sent to landfills, but also to reuse them for a better purpose. 

Global Climate Change Week will be held from Oct. 19 through Oct. 25. The goal during this week is to promote awareness about climate change and the efforts being made to prevent it. That is not the only way students can bring awareness to climate change, however. 

“Don’t take your car that week, you know take a bike or something if you can. Do public transit. If you have a good way to cut out carbon and waste that would be the week to really reflect and think about things that you could do,” said junior Claude Schaller, a contributor to the Office of Sustainability’s EcoEagle Newsletter.

From Oct. 26 through Oct. 30, there will be a Virtual Recycle Trivia game hosted on Kahoot. Participants will answer questions pertaining to sustainability, in categories like landfill waste and climate change, as previously discussed. Whoever obtains the most points by the end of the night wins. The winner of each category, with a new category available each night, will receive a currently unannounced prize. 

Sustainability Month is not the only time to help the environment, however. There are some simple things everyone on and off campus can do after Sustainability Month ends, such as utilizing trash and recycling bins across campus. 

“If you see a piece of trash[,] just pick it up off the ground and throw it away,” said Schaller.. 

By utilizing the information being given throughout October, the Office of Sustainability hopes that anyone can help the environment and promote an eco-friendly lifestyle. 

“Be conscious of the waste you create, carry a reusable bottle and bags. Learn how to recycle properly for your area,” said Covington-Olsen. 

To learn more about the events happening around campus, please view the flyer on the top of the page at www.usm.edu/sustainability.

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