Georgia Southern’s recycling efforts highlighted in statewide environmental report

Our Changing Climate

STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) — Georgia Southern University’s efforts to help the environment were highlighted in a new report.

Environment Georgia released “Renewable Energy 101,” which details some of the key tools that colleges, universities, state and local governments could use to shift toward 100% clean and renewable energy. 

Georgia cities like Atlanta, Augusta, Athens and Clarkston have already adopted 100% clean and renewable energy commitments, according to the report released Tuesday.

The report shows how 12 of Georgia’s institutes of higher education have executed those tools — from energy efficiency and energy conservation, to transportation and use of renewable energy like solar and geothermal.

Georgia Southern was featured for its accomplishments in recycling. 

Recycling and reducing waste are considered effective ways to reduce greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane, which have been shown to contribute to climate change.

The university says it has made a lot of progress in getting students and staff involved in promoting waste reduction and sustainable living.

“Georgia Southern has done really well in terms of sustainability,” said the university’s Center for Sustainability Director, Dr. Lissa Leege, who added that Georgia Southern has received national recognition for its efforts. 

“Last year, we were named a Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education,” Leege told News 3.

One of the creative ways Georgia Southern has gotten students involved is through its Recycled Boat Regatta competition. 

Student teams build and race boats made entirely of recycled materials like cardboard, milk jugs and bottles.

Environment Georgia’s report also highlighted Georgia Southern’s recycling efforts for tailgating events at each home football game.

The college also hosts “No Impact Week.” The sustainability week involves working with Goodwill to gather clothing, electronics, and household items that can be reused and recycled.

“Every year, we compete in [an eight-week] competition among universities across the country called Recycle Mania,” Leege said. “We compete with each other to find out who’s going to recycle the most [items].”

Georgia Southern also recognizes students who practice on-campus sustainability through “Caught Green-Handed.” 

The school says it’s one of many ways it’s getting students involved in sustainable practices.

In 2018 and 2019, Georgia Southern students recycled 214 tons of material.

“Universities are the perfect place to teach sustainability, because we are educating the leaders of the future,” Leege said.

“If they walk away from our campus with important information about how to solve sustainability problems with an understanding of how to do that, they will take that to their job, they will take that to Congress, they will take that out into the world and make the changes that need to happen,” she said.

To view the Environment Georgia’s full report, click here.

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