One website offers students charitable rewards and potential scholarships for tracking their contributions to save the planet.
Darren Bingham, a junior in environmental studies, is a campus representative at Utah State University for the organization and website, campus.myactions.org.
“It’s a national and soon-to-be international nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable lifestyles and behaviors to anyone and everyone,” Bingham said. “They do it by having it in a social media base platform.”
The website is connected with other social media sites and apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. The website tries to make the program accessible to and connect with smartphone users, Bingham said.
“It’s all about tracking your life and seeing what your real-time impact is on the environment,” he said. “Also your wallet. It tells you how much money you’ve saved, which is really cool too. So even if you aren’t looking to save a tree, you’re saving money.”
The savings on the account are donated to a charity of the user’s choice on the website.
MyActions enables members to track things they’ve done throughout the day that can contribute to helping the environment, these activities range from turning a light off to recycling.
Chelsea Yoshikawa is a freshman in international business and finance. She started using the site in the fall of 2014.
“Whenever I do something that is environmentally friendly, like make a conscious effort to do something, I make sure to show what I’ve done,” Yoshikawa said.
She added she thinks the site makes people more aware of their day-to-day actions.
“If you’re actually paying attention to your own actions and what you’re doing, I think it can really make a difference for others because it might make them rethink about what they’re doing too,” Yoshikawa said.
Bingham said the site also offers scholarships to students based on the activities that they have tracked on the site.
Upon discovery, some are seeing how this website makes a difference through the social media connection aspect, particularly with students. One of these students is Alea Soboloski, a freshman studying elementary education.
“I think it can help colleges because it can inspire students to recycle and make the environment a better place,” Soboloski said. “Everybody uses social media now, so it can definitely help.”
The members also want students to see that it is not necessary to have an environmental science-related major to take these steps or participate in the organization.
“I’m not in the natural resources college or anything,” Yoshikawa said. “I’m a business major and even with businesses, no matter what major you’re in, I think being environmentally friendly is an important factor to our everyday life.”
She also sees this as a give-and-take relationship with the planet.
“The world is giving us so much, so we should try and give back as much as we can,” Yoshikawa said.
People should be able to see that other people are doing the same things they are and be recognized for it, Bingham said.
Students can go to campus.myactions.org to sign up.
“No matter what you do, you can use the platform,” Bingham said. “If you’re a blogger, if you’re a Tweeter, if you’re a Pinterest, whatever, you have a place. You can post pictures and you get to be a part of something bigger than yourself and better than yourself because there’s this money that can be spent on a cause of your choice, and who doesn’t like to get a pat on the back?”
He said USU has been represented well through the website.
“At our university, we got a silver in student involvement from the organization,” he said. “We get to tell people how great Utah State is. Since we’re such an international, global world, this is a chance for us to tell the world we’re here and we’re Utah State Aggies.”