Take action to Save Ohno

October 13, 2017

Brandeis is taking part in the Save Ohno competition this October. SaveOhno, a national organization that holds competitions at many universities, encourages students to improve their sustainability efforts and raise their environmental awareness. By fostering healthy competition between students—and with the added bonus of Patagonia prizes for the top three teams—SaveOhno is a great way to get more Brandeis students involved in sustainability.

Once you’re part of a team, you can begin competing on your online SaveOhno account. You can earn points for a variety of tasks, ranging in terms of commitment, such as liking Sustainable Brandeis on Facebook, filling out a survey, attending campus events or volunteering at Brandeis’ rooftop farm. Points can also be earned by signing petitions for causes like setting a national price on carbon, helping protect monarch butterflies, adding vegan burgers to the McDonald’s menu and phasing out plastic water bottles on campus. The top ten point-earners of the winning teams are eligible for prizes.

The SaveOhno competition is a great initiative for the university to take on. For a university so concerned with social justice, Brandeis is drastically lagging behind in terms of sustainability. While it may take the allure of Patagonia prizes to get students interested, at least the SaveOhno competition is getting students to think about environmental issues and the myriad ways they can contribute to sustainability. Students who have never given a second thought to the rampant use of plastic water bottles might now be more conscious and use a reusable bottle, and those who liked new environmental activism Facebook pages will now see their posts on their feeds for long after the competition ends.

Since the competition is mainly all online, it is also extremely easy to participate. Students are already on a computer for at least a few hours a day, so logging onto your SaveOhno account to sign petitions or upload pictures for your actions can be just an extension of existing daily habits. And the tasks that require venturing away from your computer are not too strenuous—like attending a documentary screening on waste in the fashion industry or attending farming hours on the rooftop farm, but they are informative and enjoyable.

SaveOhno was founded to help address the gap between public opinion and public action regarding climate change. Lots of students acknowledge the dire environmental issues we are facing, but not many know how they can tweak things in their daily life to improve sustainability. With SaveOhno, students can fit activism into their everyday life and learn how small changes can make a big difference. We hope the competition will teach students new sustainable habits that they’ll keep up even after the competition and whether they win Patagonias or not.

The competition ends on Oct. 21, which is fast approaching—but it is not too late to join a team and get involved.

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