New school year, new sustainable habits

New school year, new sustainable habits
Ana McCabe is a senior journalism and environmental studies double major. 

Well, here we are: the start of another school year.

This season signifies a time to reunite with friends and meet new classmates. It’s a time to discuss brain-scratching topics with professors, indulge in the dining hall’s endless pizza slices and try out the Chick-fil-A waffle fries.

It’s also a time to get involved on campus. The perfect way to do so starts with joining one of Augustana’s clubs. Augustana offers many opportunities to engage in creating a more environmentally friendly campus and encourage a sustainable lifestyle for present and future students.

Augie Green is a sustainably focused club that organizes entertaining and impactful events for the student body. From canning pickles, making beeswax wraps and propagating plants in October, to hosting a recycling competition in December, 2023-2024 Augie Green events offer a host of with sustainable activities.

Janae Becher, senior and president of Augie Green, is excited for another productive year on campus.

“I am most looking forward to seeing my leadership team get excited about our outreach and projects,” Becher said. “I have already seen their enthusiasm in starting events and initiatives and I can’t wait to see how much of an impact we
make on campus as a student body.”

Becher believes Augie Green is important in introducing new ideas and projects alongside other Augustana-affiliated organizations on campus.

“We also collaborate with other clubs, community organizations and faculty with events to show how sustainability is connected to every part of our lives,” Becher said.

While Augie Green encourages students to help build a more environmentally friendly university, the Augustana Outdoor Program provides more ways to
form environmentally friendly lifestyles. AOP promotes nature-centered exercise
and group activities that take place across South Dakota.

Outdoor Program Director Michael O’Hara believes promoting outdoor activities to the student body will emphasize the importance of no-waste outdoor activities.

“I think there are no shortage of benefits to being active in these ways, let alone to being outdoors and immersed in the natural environment around us — whether that natural place is a local city park, a state or national park or our own backyard,” O’Hara said.

O’Hara is the newest AOP director after the group went more than a year with-
out one.

“This will be my first year in this position, so I am really looking forward to getting students, faculty and staff from all walks of life outside and making the outdoor community a more welcoming place for everyone,” he said.

The AOP is a great place to find sustainable activities to do with friends and meet others who share similar interests with you. As well as taking part in the unique group endeavors, the AOP has gear available for rent, including tents, hammocks, cooking kits with stoves and burners and SouthDakota state park passes.

The AOP also has a virtual map highlighting locations in and around Sioux Falls with activities such as hiking, paddling, ice skating and skiing.

This year, get outdoors and challenge yourself to try more nature-centered activities that are sustainably focused and conveniently local. What could be better?