Climate change is a global phenomenon that is all encompassing. There are no nations, cities, or towns that are unaffected by climate change. Human industrial development is accelerating climate change and without drastic practice changes, global temperature increase and sea level rise will be inevitable. The problem does not lie only from a large perspective, but is based from the cultural unsustainable practices people have become accustomed to. American culture has become one of single use. People are normalized to the idea that it is okay to buy products that are only made to be used one time and then thrown away, like plastics. In addition, fossil fuel burning for heat, transportation, and electricity is commonplace. But these practices are not sustainable. Within the next decade, the world will reach the point of no return in regards to climate change. National and global climatologists agree, the time for action is now to mitigate temperature rise. The problem needs to be addressed from the ground up; at the local level. To begin implementing more sustainable practices at the local level, a municipality needs to have a sound understanding of sustainability.
Lilly Sencenbaugh, Erin Wetzstein, Zahra Ghodsi Zahed, and Kaitlin Roberts
This project summary discusses the Recycling Study, which includes previous recycling efforts, our current recycling efforts, and recommendations for the future.
Josie Flatgard, Kriston Lynn, Andrew Phelps, Mashaya Thompson, and Rebecca Torres
According to ChasingGreen.org, “the average college student produces 640 pounds of solid waste each year, most of which accumulates when that student prepares to move out of their dorm or house at the end of term.” Furthermore, Tufts University, which is very similar in size to the University of South Dakota, claims there is a significant rise in solid waste generated on campus at the end of the year - nearly one third of the amount of waste left for the entire year.
The goal of the Give and Go program is to reduce this waste by creating an easy way for students to donate reusable items that they had planned on throwing away. The program will collect the items and redistribute to them to the community - to outlets like the Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, the Vermillion Food Pantry, and so on.
Amanda Hegg, Brooke Wigdahl, Maggie Squyer, Aidan Beck, Jason Emmick, and Jordan DeBoer
As a relatively compact city, Vermillion has the potential to support a strong bike culture. Increased biking in Vermillion has many benefits for our campus and community, including decreased congestion of parking lots on campus and streets around campus, improved health of those who bike, and mitigation of environmental impacts such as emissions from transportation.
The implementation of a bike share program on campus is one way to increase bike culture because it would provide students with access to bikes on an as-needed basis. A need assessment survey for the potential implementation of this program conducted by Vermillion’s “Making Lighter Footprints” Committee showed a positive response from the many USD students who participated.
In order to improve the bike culture on campus and address the interest expressed by students who participated in the survey, the Sustainability Club applied for the SGA Green Initiative Fund in October of 2016, and was awarded the $4,950 grant in November of 2016. Upon receiving the grant, Sustainability Capstone students developed a plan for a bike share program that will begin the implementation process in the Spring Semester of 2017. Sustainability Capstone aspires to have the Yote Bike Share Program up and running by the Fall Semester of 2017.
Tyler Jackson, Kaitlyn Rangel, Carly Holmstrom, Ethan Pace, and Sara Packard
Students and staff at the University of South Dakota have demanded a recycling program for years, and finally the university has responded. In 2015, USD hired Verdis Group, a sustainability consulting agency based out of Omaha, to help the campus assess its waste profile and develop a recycling program. Throughout this process, six students from the sustainability capstone course were present to supplement Verdis Group’s work wherever possible and necessary.
Printing is not supported at the primary Gallery Thumbnail page. Please first navigate to a specific Image before printing.