| Black Hills State University student organization, Students in Free Enterprise (S.I.F.E.), have taken action to make a difference in the community by reducing the amount of plastic shopping bags used. Members of the organization are helping to preserve the environment by helping to educate the community in hopes they will participate in a more sustainable lifestyle. Students selling the bags at a BHSU event include (l to r), Jerred Nagel from Rapid City, Marcus Heinrich from Whitewood, and Rebecca Ellis from Rock Rapids, Iowa.
Black Hills State University student organization, Students in Free Enterprise (S.I.F.E.), have taken action to make a difference in the community by reducing the amount of plastic shopping bags used. Members of the organization are helping to preserve the environment by helping educate the community in hopes they will participate in a more sustainable lifestyle. The project is called “It’s in the Bag.”
Guided by the S.I.F.E. motto, “A head for business, a heart for the world,” the bag project was designed to educate and promote environmental sustainability in the community. The bag includes 10 tips printed on the side for using resources more wisely. One thousand bags were purchased for the group to distribute and sell in the community.
Bags are being sold for $3 per bag for 4 bags for $10 at BHSU events, as well as in a few local businesses. So far, S.I.F.E. students have sold or donated over 700 bags to community members and friends reaching from Spearfish to both coasts. The bag project has seen its best success with sales coming from word of mouth and from an inserted flyer in each bag that invites owners to follow up and order more bags.
Additionally, S.I.F.E. partnered with the Spearfish Rotary Club to provide reusable green bags to Spearfish Food Pantry patrons. The Rotary Club donated $675 to cover the cost of 270 bags for pantry patrons. When the patrons return to the pantry with their reusable bags, they receive an extra can of food. Recently a food drive was organized at the Spearfish Wal-Mart store to collect food items for distribution with the patrons’ reusable bag. The students collected 693 pounds of food during the drive.
According to Curtis Coomes, business administration major from Rapid City and S.I.F.E. president, “The ‘It’s in the Bag’ Project has educated many people on how to sustain the environment while promoting S.I.F.E. in a positive way in the community. The project reaches both the bag users as well as anyone who sees the green bags and recognizes the value of sustainability.”
S.I.F.E. will continue to reduce the use of plastic bags in the community by promoting and selling the reusable bags. Those interested in purchasing the reusable bags can email S.I.F.E. at BHSUSIFE@gmail.com.
S.I.F.E. students recently presented the “It’s in the Bag” project along with several others service projects at the S.I.F.E. regional competition in Minneapolis, Minn. Those presenting included: Coomes; Ann Wilken, business education major from Faith; Rebecca Ellis, professional accountancy major from Rock Rapids, Iowa; Hacklyn Stephen, business administration major from Sturgis; Markus Heinrich, business administration major from Whitewood; Jerred Nagel, business administration major from Rapid City; James Williamson, business administration major from Sundance, Wyo.; and Todd Tysdal, business administration major from Sturgis.