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Georgia Southern University to promote sustainable practices during Southern Sustainability Week

Donovan Clayton

Donovan Clayton, a senior civil engineering major and sustainability fellow through the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement (OLCE) at Georgia Southern University, knows that developing a long-term sustainable lifestyle may seem overwhelming. However, he’s looking forward to showing his peers, faculty and staff at the University just how easy it can be during Southern Sustainability Week, March 29 through April 2.

Each day of the week will have events based on a different theme, including public health, climate change, social justice, consumption and caring for our community. Clayton helped plan the climate change-focused day of Southern Sustainability Week.

“Addressing environmental, social injustices and over-consumption problems is a worthwhile venture on its own, but I believe developing a sustainable mindset is crucial in long-term life satisfaction,” said Clayton. “Living sustainably, across all aspects of life, means living so the future does not fall apart, and I see understanding this with respect to the environment as a purposeful first step toward this.”

Sustainability Programs coordinator Cami Sockow

Sustainability Programs coordinator Cami Sockow said the week is meant to educate people on the different themes but to also discuss solutions that everyone can take part in.  

“Our last day, Friday, April 2, is focused on caring for our community,” Sockow said. “I chose this theme for the day because this is what it all comes back to: our community. The more we take part in and build our community, the more we feel equipped to tackle these larger social issues. We cannot solve them in our silos.”

OLCE Director Jodi Kennedy said Southern Sustainability Week is important because it’s an opportunity to learn about practices that can impact everyone’s future.

“Being educated on sustainability topics that impact our world directly contributes to the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement’s goal of empowering students to become global citizens who lead positive change,” Kennedy said. “Southern Sustainability Week is such a valuable opportunity for students to learn about resources and topics today that will clearly impact their future and future generations to come.”

OLCE director Jodi Kennedy

Students, faculty and staff who want to move toward a more sustainable lifestyle will be able to explore various areas of their lives where small but impactful changes can be made throughout the week of events. 

“Get curious, and start small; look at your daily and weekly purchases and habits and figure out where things you buy come from and how they get here,” Clayton said. “When you’ve identified one aspect of your lifestyle you’d like to change, start small. Try Meatless Mondays before trying to go vegan or buy your next outfit from a sustainable brand before swapping out your entire wardrobe.” 

The marquee event during the week is a seminar from award-winning author Robert R. Bullard, Ph.D., whose books have addressed sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, transportation and climate justice, among other topics.

For more information about Southern Sustainability Week and to register for Bullard’s virtual presentation happening on March 31 at 6 p.m., visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu/sustainability. Attendance verification will be provided. For a full list of events, visit students.georgiasouthern.edu/LeadServe/files/Screen-Shot-2021-03-26-at-10.31.47-AM.png.

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