Moments from Earth Week

Members of Augie Green celebrate Earth Week by inviting students to pot plants. Photos provided by Shauna Pauli.

Last week, Augie Green celebrated Earth Week with a variety of events, including non-dairy milk tasting and the official groundbreaking ceremony of the outdoor classroom.

earth5On Monday, Augie Green set up a table in the commons dining hall encouraging students to try vegan treats and nondairy milk, such as walnut milk, oat milk and cashew milk. They also handed out reusable straws and bamboo silverware to support sustainable food consumption.

Augie Green co-president Alex Kracht explained the importance of sustainable products such as non-dairy milk.

“There’s no cow abuse [or] animals involved,” Kracht said.“[Non-dairy milk producers] use less water to make this milk than it would to keep a cow alive.”

Kracht said she prefers oat milk for lattes and cashew or walnut milk for smoothies.

According to the BBC, non-dairy milks use less than half as much land, water, and greenhouse gas emissions as dairy milk.

On Tuesday, the groundbreaking for Augustana’s outdoor classroom then took place when a group of about 30 people including staff, alumni, and students, came to watch. After leading a Lakota prayer, Professor Karla Abbott used sage to bless the area of the future classroom.

Then Dr. David O’Hara, Alex Kracht and Pamela Miller took shovels and officially broke ground on the classroom, which will be completed when students come back this fall.

“Start dreaming about how you might use this place,” O’Hara said. “Lots of little things have gone into making this happen.”

Pastor Ann Rosendale closed the ceremony with a prayer.

earth6On Wednesday, Augie Green partnered with Purl Jam for a night of creating blankets for the homeless out of t-shirts.

On Thursday, Augie Green hosted a plant potting event for students.

“You can make your own herbs instead of buying them at the store,” Kracht said. “You save plastic and money, too.”

Friday’s event was a free store that promoted reusing materials by exchanging unwanted items.

“It’s a thing that’s popping up all over the country,” Kracht said. “You bring something you don’t use, and you pick something up that you would use.”

Due to weather, the Campus Cleanup event that was supposed to happen on Saturday was postponed for the future.

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