Meet Alex Kracht '19
Biology, Spanish Majors
President, Augie Green
Q. What are you currently doing in your everyday life for sustainability?
A. In my everyday life I like to bring my own reusable water bottle so I don't have to get a plastic one or use a plastic or Styrofoam cup. Also I love riding my bike and walking whenever possible so I don't have to drive or carpooling with friends if its too far to walk.
Q. What are you currently doing at Augustana for sustainability?
A. At Augie we are currently pushing for more recycling bins and Meatless Monday in the cafeteria along with more vegetarian options everyday. Sodexo has done this well at other universities around America so there is no reason they can't here. Also it’s ridiculous that students who live on campus have to go to a different floor from where they live just to recycle. Every floor should have a recycling bin. I would like to see a little recycling bin in every room.
Q. What are your plans for increasing sustainability in the future?
A. My own personal goals involve doing what I already do but better like taking shorter showers and just being more conscious of everything I do like not forgetting to turn off the lights etc.
Q. Why are you interested in sustainability?
A. I've always been interested in sustainability because I've always loved playing outside and want to keep that around for future generations.
Q. What tips do you have for other Augustana students who want to be more sustainable?
A. An easy way to be more sustainable on campus is to use a reusable water bottle, and bringing your own bags when going shopping instead of using the plastic ones. Another one I like is if you are a late-night studier, try to turn off the lights in your room and go to the library or a building where the lights have to be on. Coming to Augie Green meetings works, too. :)
Q. What do you think is the easiest way to be more sustainable?
A. The easiest way to be more sustainable is to just try your best to keep sustainability in the back of your mind. Even if you mess up and leave the lights on or keep the water running while you brush your teeth every once in a while, it's important to not be too hard on yourself and try again.
Q. In what areas do you think Augustana needs to improve in (related to sustainability)?
A. I think Augie needs to improve a lot in the food department. We need more vegetarian options that aren't just soup or a salad. The meat industry is terrible for the environment and there’s just no way around that. I get that not everyone wants to eliminate meat completely from their diet and I'm not asking them to. One meat-free meal can make a huge difference. Additionally, there is a lot of food waste happening and I think this coincides with giant serving portions. Students can always go back and get more if they want, the serving sizes don't need to be that big.
Q. What would you tell an Augustana student who says they’re “too busy” to be sustainable?
A. ...You aren't too busy to be sustainable. It take less than a second to turn a light off when you leave a room.
Q. What does “sustainability” mean to you?
A. To me, sustainability is doing what you can to create less waste and use less finite resources. Buying organic vegetables is expensive, but investing in a canvas bag to carry groceries instead of getting plastic ones that end up sitting in landfills or polluting the ocean is cheap. Sustainability is all about doing all that you personally can. I've seen a lot of people get discouraged because they think they'll never be able to be completely sustainable but just trying your best is going to make a difference. Every little bit counts.
Q. Any other comments you’d like to add?
A. If you disagree with me or have any ideas you want to discuss feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or come to an Augie Green meeting. They are usually Thursday nights around 8:30 pm.