The Daily Gamecock

In Our Opinion: No Impact Carolina Week gets our green light

While the USC has an array of environmentally friendly and self-sustaining facilities, No Impact Carolina Week turns the focus to the student body and their adoption of similarly green practices.

No Impact Carolina Week, a proclaimed “carbon cleanse,” kicked off Sunday and will continue throughout the week before culminating in Saturday’s “giving back.”

While green movements have come into vogue in recent years, their utility and wholesomeness is still often overlooked. No Impact Carolina Week hopes to change that at USC as they cultivate an appreciation and awareness for green, self-sustaining habits on a personal level.

The week kicked off with participants trying to recycle their waste and avoid limit their consumption. Monday’s theme was limiting personal trash, and today’s focus is eating locally produced food.
While there’s no easy measure of the student body’s eco-friendly habits, the school has set a rather good standard. The Honors Residence Hall, Patterson Hall and West (Green) Quad are all Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design-certified buildings. Furthermore, the new Darla Moore School of Business building boasts a plethora of green features, including the collection and reuse of rainwater for irrigation and plumbing, landscaping designed to wick away heating and alleviate stress on the already energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems. It gets better: The building’s architecture also takes advantage of natural lighting for energy savings, it was built with recycled materials and all construction waste will be recycled.

Of course, on our own, none of us can match that, but No Impact Carolina Week provides students with the perfect platform to try their hand at sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. And put together, changing our habits could have a huge impact.

The benefits aren’t strictly environmental, either. There are plenty of personal incentives to adopting a greener, self-sustaining lifestyle, such as lower utilities. Shorter showers, energy-efficient light bulbs, carpooling and public transportation, among others, all result in lower bills, whether they’re electricity, water or fuel. That’s more money in your pocket and a cleaner planet for relatively little effort.
We’ve got to commend the people behind the No Impact Carolina Week for providing an easy outlet for people to dip their toes into green living. We hope students will take them up on it.