By Jacquelyn Letizia Staff writer
If every Susquehanna student showered one minute less, the campus could save about 4,600 gallons of water, according to junior Josh Levesque, a member of the Susquehanna team that participated in the EcoChallenge.
“The EcoChallenge is a chance for people to commit to making small changes in their lives that, when added up, really benefit the environment,” Levesque said.
The challenge took place from Oct. 14 to Oct. 28, giving enough time for the eco-friendly habits to form.
Levesque said, “The EcoChallenge does a great job of representing all aspects of sustainability [that] people, especially students, can work into their lives easily.”
According to Levesque, the team captain of the Susquehanna TreeHuggers, the team was started by Michelle Barakat several years ago, who was the Sustainability Service Scholar before him.
The team was nationally ranked at one point, and Levesque said that he hopes to reach that level again in the future.
First-year Kara Eckert is an active member of the TreeHugger team with Levesque.
“I’m working on eating one meatless meal a day, using reusable cups/mugs each day, taking five-minute showers and recycling all items that can be recycled in the area,” Eckert said.
Eckert has also started a Terracycle program at Susquehanna. Terracycle, a recycling company based out of New Jersey, collects unusual items to recycle. Items are collected throughout campus and then sent to the company.
Based on the weight of the package, the shipment will receive a certain number of points. These points can be translated into cash and can be donated to schools, charities or other non-profit organizations.
Terracycle is one additional aspect of Eckert’s EcoChallenge commitment.
The EcoChallenge website claims that after only four days, the TreeHuggers team alone has helped 15 people, saved eight disposable cups and 42 plastic bottles from being sent to a landfill, consumed 16 meatless meals and saved up to 304 gallons of water.
“The most interesting aspect to me about the EcoChallenge is how unconscious people are of how their daily actions have such a huge impact on the world. Nobody should ever feel insignificant,” Levesque said.
More details about the Susquehanna TreeHugger’s contributions to the EcoChallenge can be found on the EcoChallenge website.