Sigma Kappa and Sustainability’s #KillTheCup Challenge Inspires Campus Community to Reduce Waste

The Epsilon Delta Chapter of Sigma Kappa and the Office of Sustainability at Susquehanna University have teamed up to introduce the #KillTheCup challenge on campus during the month of April. The campaign challenges the campus community to reduce waste though various measures, including refraining from the use of plastic cups. “Our overall goal is to spread awareness and instill a motivation within others to be kinder to the environment,” said Sigma Kappa Epsilon Delta’s Vice President of Philanthropy, Mary Stebbins.

Stebbins, along with the chapter’s Public Relations Chair, Katy Smith, were inspired by a fellow sister, Caity Miller, to bring this challenge to life. “The long-term goal is to develop a new 30-day challenge each month to bring awareness to a variety of causes,” said Stebbins. “We want to challenge other student organizations on campus each month to spread awareness of a cause important to them.” One of the sorority’s philanthropies is “Inherit the Earth”, a cause that calls for citizens to improve their local environments, which was another source of motivation behind the challenge.

Derek Martin from Susquehanna’s Office of Sustainability has been a key partner in the campaign, providing a plethora of fast facts to be shared daily on Sigma Kappa’s Instagram page through the month of April. “The Office of Sustainability has been so helpful, especially Derek Martin. We couldn’t have done this without him,” said Smith.

Within one week of its launch, the message of this challenge has spread across the country. The national Sigma Kappa organization on Instagram re-shared a photo related to the campaign, and the comments are filled with members of other chapters inspired to take on the challenge. According to Stebbins, the campaign has certainly sparked a friendly competition within her own chapter, as well.

Stebbins, Smith, and the Office of Sustainability are measuring how many pounds of waste have been eliminated and how many plastic cups have been saved through this challenge and hope to report the numbers next month. Stebbins will soon be stepping away from her role at the end of the semester as she goes to study abroad, but hopes that the next Vice President of Philanthropy and Service can follow her lead by challenging another organization to start another 30-day challenge.

It couldn’t be easier to take part in the challenge. Reusable cups are only $3 at the Starbucks right on campus. Plus, Starbucks, Scholarly Grounds, and Charlie’s will all happily accept re-usable cups and mugs for your drink. You can also simply help spread the word by sharing your Kill The Cup photos on Instagram with the hashtag #KillTheCup and by tagging @sigmakay_su.