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Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern challenged to start LivinGreen

Georgia Southern graduate student Matt Parker wanted to do something to reduce his impact on the environment, especially since he lives so close to campus.

‘I had come to realize that for as close to campus as I live, I drove a bit too much,” Parker said.

Rather than just walking more and trying to drive his car less and leaving it at that, Parker sought to get the entire campus community involved. After collaborating with members of Campus Recreation and Intramurals and the University Wellness Program, the concept of LivinGreen emerged. The LivinGreen Challenge is a 10, 20 or 30-day challenge to walk, ride bicycles or carpool to show the ease in limiting motor-vehicle dependence in Statesboro.

The LivinGreen challenge hopes to raise awareness about fossil fuel usage and show people how easy it is to make simple lifestyle adjustments to reduce their dependency on it.

Dustin Sanderson, director of Southern Adventures for Campus Recreation and Intramurals, said they’re hoping to get at least 100 participants for the inaugural year.

‘I would love to blow right past that goal,” he said. ‘I’d love to hit 100 and keep going. If we got 500 and they did the 10-day challenge, that’d be awesome. We’d still have 500 people who made an impact and would have that much more of an impact with the people around them.”

Participants can choose to go for any 10, 20 or 30 consecutive days in October.

Sanderson has already started making changes by riding his bicycle to work rather than taking his car. He said it takes him about the same amount of time to cycle to work as it does to drive.

The event is a collaboration between CRI and the University Wellness Program. Nigel Davies, university wellness program director, said that while it was started by those two groups, it is a campus-wide event and wants as many people as possible to participate.

‘It’s only going to be as good as the people participating,” Davies said.

Those participating in the challenge will be given t-shirts and sponsors are being lined up to donate prizes and incentives to those who take part, Parker said.

‘We want people to see that carpooling is not that bad or that riding their bike is fun and they can see the world from a new perspective when they do it,” Davies said. ‘This is a personal challenge. No one is going to be coming up behind you and checking on you.”

Southern Adventures is planning activities on weekends during October such as movie showings, kickball games and possibly a campout on Sweetheart Circle. In addition, prizes will be awarded during Wellness Week, which is October 29 Р November 2.

Changes made to Georgia Southern in recent years have also helped reduce the number of times people drive on campus, especially the effort to make the university more of a walking campus. Also, the addition of the bus system around campus has led to an increase in the number of people walking or riding their bicycles to class, Davies said.

Registration for the free event begins on Wednesday, September 26 at Member Services inside the RAC and at the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement. For more information, contact CRI at 681-5436.

More information about CRI is available at http://welcome.georgiasouthern.edu/wellness/LivinGreen/index.html.

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