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Green Games provides students with interactive approach to sustainability

There is no time to waste when it comes to providing sustainable solutions for our actual waste on-campus, at least according to the information provided at Green Games, an eco-friendly event held at the Speaker’s Platform Tuesday.

The environmentally charged event provided students with a variety of interactive mini-games highlighting the importance of maintaining a sustainable lifestyle — especially when it comes to handling waste properly.

The event presented little-known facts about campus life and its overall effect on the environment.

“I really want people to walk away with a greater sense of knowledge and [understand] the importance of sustainability,” said Cory Coogan, program assistant for Associated Students Inc. Beach Pride Events. “We’re affecting our planet all the time, every day, and it’s sad to see everything we’ve done to harm the planet.”

The event, hosted by ASI Beach Pride Events, Sustain U and The Office of Sustainability, hosted six different sustainability-themed mini-games for students to play. One of these games was called, Coffee Cup Conundrum — a competitive racing game where students had to stack as many cups as possible, in a pyramid shape, within one minute.

“We did a study that found that we were generating to the tune of 188 single-use hot coffee cups per hour on this campus,” said Eric Bryan, recycling and sustainability coordinator for Sustain U.

Coffee Cup Conundrum highlighted the impossibility of doing something useful with vast amounts of waste in such a short amount of time, according to Bryan. Ultimately, the interactive games aimed to display real waste and conservation problems the campus faces.

It’s in the Bag was another interactive game featured at the event which aimed to raise awareness about the waste-sorting issue that Long Beach State faces. The game, which resembled cornhole, was based on the campus’ three-tier waste system separating compostable, mixed recycling and landfill items from one another.  

Students were encouraged to put their sorting skills to the the test by throwing bags labeled as different waste items such as food leftovers, glass bottles and empty plastic containers, into the correct waste bin.

“The idea is basically to educate people on where their trash goes. Because, believe it or not, not that many people actually know where their trash is supposed to go,” said Daniel Pierce, fifth year design major and USU sustainability assistant. “I know this first hand because I look through all of the trash cans in the [University Student] Union once a week.”

Part of his job as a sustainability assistant requires Pierce to oversee the campus’ Compost Happens program, a campaign aimed to raise awareness about the importance of waste diversion and benefits of composting on-campus. During his time as an assistant, Pierce has found out some surprising facts about the amount of waste students produce. For example, when over 2,000 students move into the dorms every year, they bring approximately 14,000 pounds of cardboard with them.

It doesn’t stop there. Bryan stated the ASI Recycling Center deals with vast amounts of recyclables each month. This includes 45,000 pounds of glass, 1,000 pounds worth of scrap metal and 800 pounds of number 2 recyclable plastics a month.

“If we can send home one more person with a little bit more care for the world they live in, then we will have succeeded,” Bryan said.

After competing in at least three of the six Green Games, students were able to enter a raffle for a chance to win eco-friendly prizes such as a shower timer. Students were also encouraged to write a pledge to lead a more sustainable lifestyle and attach it to a life-size cube, which aimed to embody the average volume of greenhouse gas emissions created per person per day in the United States; approximately 50 kilograms.

Climathon: Long Beach is the next Sustainability Month event. It is a 24-hour international event which aims to bring students together to come up with creative ideas for solving climate change issues. The event, hosted by the CSULB Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and The Office of Sustainability, will take place Oct. 26 to Oct. 27 at the Duncan Anderson Gallery on-campus.

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