2016 National Campus Sustainability Day

Paige: Hi, I’m Paige Vanderleest.

Molly: and I’m Molly Breen!

Paige: We’re the 2016-2017 Live Green! Campus and Community Engagement Interns!

Molly: We’re so excited to be on the team this year helping ISU work towards it’s sustainable future.

Paige: Yes, we’ve already had a great three months and our first event is already in the books!

Molly: We had such a blast planning National Campus Sustainability Day. Read below to see what it was all about!

2016 Iowa State University National Campus Sustainability Day

On Thursday, October 20th excitement was in the air as local businesses and student organizations began to set up bright and inviting displays. The Ames and ISU communities were coming together in celebration of National Campus Sustainability Day and our collective commitment to a sustainable future.

Curiosity began to spark in the students passing by. Their regular walks to classes, study sessions and on-campus jobs were brightened by the positive energy that the event brought to campus.


A National Celebration

Every October, National Campus Sustainability Day is held as a part of National Campus Sustainability Month. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, AASHE, holds NCSM in order to celebrate, promote and educate students about sustainability both on their campuses and in their communities.

2016 was Iowa State University’s 6th annual National Campus Sustainability Day. The Green Umbrella student organization, in part with the Live Green! Initiative and the Office of Sustainability, sponsors this annual event. This year, the event’s theme was Small Steps for Big Change, which encourages the idea that small actions create a ripple effect and result in substantial impact and change.

Iowa State participated in National Campus Sustainability month with over 68 other colleges and universities. To learn more about the celebration on a national level, please follow this link to AASHE’s website.

ISU’s National Campus Sustainability Day Continues to Grow

The event has historically grown bigger and bigger every year. Each celebration hits a new record of student and community engagement.

 This year’s event brought together a record-breaking 50 clubs, organizations, and businesses who all showcased their sustainable causes and commitments. In order to participate in the event, organizations were asked to illustrate their connection to one of the three facets of sustainability: social, environmental or economic, as they are discussed in our May, 18 2015 blog post. There was a wide array of connections to sustainability showcased by participating organizations making the event diverse and dynamic.

An estimated 1,000+ students, faculty and staff attended this year’s celebration! In addition to learning about current sustainability issues and opportunities, attendees were able to enjoy cookies, coffee and hot chocolate.

A wonderful perk and popular favorite of this event is the opportunity for a free-bike tune-up from ISU’s Outdoor Recreation program. This year, ISU Long Boarding Club added a new, very well-received feature – providing free long boarding tune-ups.! Together, Outdoor Recreation and Long Boarding Club were able to collectively provide over 100 tune-ups!

To ensure committed engagement of attendees and participating organizations,, attendees were offered the opportunity to earn sustainably-minded prizes by engaging with organizations. The process involved attendees obtaining a prize card with 25 circles each representing engaging with one organization. The more organizations attendees talked to, the more prizes they were able to earn!

Prizes included:

  • Visit 5+ organizations= Live Green! button or sticker
  • Visit 10+ organizations = Live Green! sewing kit or car charger
  • Visit 15+ organizations = Live Green! reusable coffee mug
  • Visit 20+ organizations= receive everything
  • Visit 25+ organizations= drawing from door prizes

In addition, to be eligible for any prizes, attendees had to also sign the event pledge wall leaving their personal commitment to sustainability. These pledges included a lot of key takeaways from the event such as: being a more conscious consumer, biking to class, and choosing reuse over disposable.

The event would not be possible without the support of our donors. They were instrumental in providing both refreshments and door prizes for the event. Thanks to Aveda Salon & Spa, Café Diem, Chocolaterie Stam, Stomping Grounds Café, Olde Main, HyVee, Starbucks, and The Loft Ames.

The event was a great opportunity to connect the campus community to sustainable organizations on and off-campus and to celebrate sustainability together as a community. The event was both the start and a continuation of a sustainable ripple effect in Ames and beyond!

To see our event in action, visit our Facebook Photo Album.

If you would like to participate in future events, either by volunteering or tabling on behalf of an organization, please contact us – Molly at , mkbreen@iastate.edu, or Paige at, paigev@iastate.edu, for more information!


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