Posted on October 19, 2009 by Tia Lalani

Augustana’s Green Campus Advisory Committee (GCAC), in partner with AUENG/AUGEO 120 students, is organizing several environmental initiatives.

By Kara Blizzard

Augustana’s Green Campus Advisory Committee (GCAC), in partner with AUENG/AUGEO 120 students, is organizing several environmental initiatives this semester. One of these is a Commuter Challenge, which coordinator Candice Tremblay described as “an educational campaign to promote alternative modes of transportation.” She said, “The commuter challenge is a challenge to see what you can do to reduce your ecological footprint, and something that everyone can do is commute to work or school.” Environmental Studies students are involved in organizing events for the campaign, several of which have already taken place. The Commuter Challenge kick-off week ran from October 5th to 11th.

On Monday the 5th, organizers held a breakfast as a thank-you and congratulations to people who commute to work or school. On Tuesday, there was a photo scavenger hunt around Camrose. Organizers asked participants to travel in various ways, including walking, biking, and driving. The different types of pictures that resulted would show participants the effects that transportation has on our relation to the natural environment. People who walk or bike tend to be more observant of their surroundings, whereas people in cars are separated from the outside world. Tremblay suggested that the scavenger hunt would show “how taking the time to bike or walk can benefit your personal health.” Wednesday October 7th was Don’t Drive Day, where everyone was encouraged to find alternative modes of transportation to work or school, whether it was walking, rollerblading, skateboarding, or biking. For the duration of the week, there was a competition between Augustana faculty members and students to see who could commute the most.

The Commuter Challenge will include several other events this semester, one of which will be during Sustainability Awareness Week. The week is a U of A-wide challenge, and Augustana is taking part by organizing three days of activities from October 19th to 21st. Each of the days will have a different environmental theme, with events to match.

On Monday, AUENG/AUGEO 120 students will hold an activity day to promote water sustainability awareness. Tuesday’s topic will be sustainable transportation, and Augustana’s Commuter Challenge initiative and Bike Share group will hold an event. Tuesday evening there will be a local dinner in the cafeteria. Overall, said Tremblay, the cafeteria has been very helpful to GCAC. At least once a month there is a local dinner, and the cafeteria no longer uses food trays. This reduces water and detergent use, as well as reducing the amount of food that is wasted from over-filling trays. On Wednesday October 21st, as a final event for Sustainability Awareness Week, the Augustana Amazing Resource Race will take place in the quad. It will feature activities and skill-testing questions about natural resources.

Keep an eye out for these and other “green” events this semester!

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