Though many “be green” opinion pieces have certainly been produced in the Auburn community, this week is a chance to highlight new and continuing initiatives the city and the campus are undertaking to produce a more sustainable, more environmentally friendly Auburn.
For example, the new city bicycle rental program is an outstanding initiative to encourage greener modes of transportation. The city has five bikes at its disposal that can be rented at two week intervals at no cost. Though the program will make no dent in Auburn’s carbon footprint, the city should be commended for at least making a conscious step to encourage residents to take a Sunday bike ride into the country instead of a Sunday drive. In the gargantuan task of combatting climate change, success will not always come with big government initiatives. Perhaps change can come through a patchwork of small green initiatives instituted by local governments and carried out by an energetic network of green citizens.
In addition to the new bicycle program, the city of course should be constantly commended for its aggressive recycling campaign and the Tiger Transit system, both of which have become integral parts of the Auburn community.
With each new green initiative the city has launched, the University has been a partner every step of the way.
Though the outside observer may not expect a campus such as Auburn to be as conscious of sustainability issues, Auburn students have shown for years that they are incredibly passionate about green programs and see college as the crucial point to educate a generation of sustainable citizens.
In less than a week, the residence halls will once again commence Sustain-A-Bowl, where residents will compete against each other to see which hall can reduce its energy use and recycle most.
There is no better time to learn the competitive side of being green than in college, and Sustain-A-Bowl is a terrific program to foster such competition. Students should realize that learning the simple habits of green living are just as important as learning a trade.
So turn off a light, recycle a bottle, ride a bike to the grocery store. All the cool kids are doing it.