Not Such A Challenge

Green

Possibly the largest mistake we can make while living is that we make ourselves believe that our lives are too small.  As humans, we can easily become discouraged for after all we each are only one out of 7 billion people in the world!  So instead we focus on what is in reach: our relationship status, a new promotion, test grades… accomplishments that are tangible. That we can physically see.  To us these are huge impacts, testimonies of how far we’ve come in life.  We receive so much satisfaction in fact, that we often forget about the single most important aspect that made these accomplishments possible – our home. And I’m not just talking about our dorms, apartments, houses, or even Georgia Southern.  Instead something bigger, rounder, blue and green – Planet Earth.

We begin each day with our morning routine of relishing moments in the hot shower, packing our book bags for class, grabbing our to-go coffee, and checking Facebook and Twitter one last time before we drive to campus.  In between classes we walk the pedestrian, some of us listening to music, others texting or talking on their phones.  We may grab lunch or an afternoon snack before some of us head off to work.  Once home, we might work on an assignment or watch TV.  Then we go to bed, wake-up, rinse and repeat.

But rewind for just a second and we will find that our 20 minute shower used roughly 34.4 gallons of water.  The disposable coffee cup we used contributed to the cutting of more than 6.5 million trees annually.  The liquid crystal displays in most of our cell phones contain mercury.  While driving to class, our cars emitted greenhouse gasses contributing to global warming.  And the energy required for our televisions, lights, wifi, and other electronic devices was generated from fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil.

For a much broader view take notes on these facts:

  • Humans each require up to 13 gallons a day of fresh water for drinking, cooking and cleaning.

  • 780 million people lack access to clean water.

  • We release currently about 37 billion metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.

  • Americans make more than 200 million tons of garbage annually.

  • Every year we generate around 14 million tons of food waste which is 106 pounds per person.

But what if we told you that our tiny impacts, the ones that we thought were worthless, could change the world?  They can and we can.  The month of September is the LivinGreen Challenge were we can show the world how just a few small steps can provide a better home for future generations.  We take from this vast planet so much every day that now is our chance to give back.  There are 20,000 students attending Georgia Southern University.  If each of us commits to taking 10-minute showers instead of 20-minute showers, than collectively we can save 344,000 gallons of water!  Our small, minuscule impacts, can now turn into a huge one, saving lives all over the world!

Here are some other ways that we can live green:

  • Use reusable water bottles and coffee cups

  • Recycle!

  • Shop at Goodwill (Haven’t you heard of that song by Macklemore?)

  • Turn the water off in the shower while soaping up

  • Bring reusable tupperware to restaurants for left overs

Share how YOU live green by taking a photo or video of your creative ideas and post it to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with #LivinGreenChallenge.  Then tag and challenge three other friends to do the same!  From one student to another, in a world full of doubt and pollution, I challenge you to do one thing a week to live greener.  A challenge that is not so challenging, can change our homes, change Georgia Southern, and change the world.

For more information about upcoming events, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

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