Event in Review: National Campus Sustainability Day

How did October pass us by so quickly?! It feels like we’ve breezed by Halloween festivities and straight into the cold, cruel weather of winter here in Ames!

For Heidi and I, October was a whirlwind of National Campus Sustainability Day planning! October 26th marked the 9th Annual National Campus Sustainability Day event here at Iowa State, and we were so thrilled to be a part of planning it.

For a little background information: National Campus Sustainability Day isn’t the same day for all universities. An umbrella organization for universities engaged in sustainability, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE, pronounced ay-shee) promotes “National Campus Sustainability Month” during October, with the goal of having universities host events around the topic of sustainability. Every university does things a little bit differently!

Here at Iowa State, we celebrate National Campus Sustainability Day (NCSD for short) by hosting a tabling event that is chock-full of student organizations, community organizations, and local businesses all supporting sustainability through initiatives, projects, events, products and/or practices, for ISU students, faculty, and staff to visit and talk to. Every year, we host the event on one day in October from 11am-2pm on the South Library Lawn. ALSO every year, we have hundreds of students visit the event to learn about sustainability (and to get some of that free coffee, snacks, and awesome door prizes!).

An attendee writes on the pledge wall at the event; their pledge reads “Drive less.”

An attendee writes on the pledge wall at the event; their pledge reads “Drive less.”


Students Helping Our Peers (SHOP) talks about their organization with an attendee.


This year’s theme was “Make Waves,” which was chosen to represent the ways in which our university has made substantial commitments and impressive accomplishments in sustainability over the years, and the ways in which everyone can live and work a little more sustainably. We wanted to celebrate, challenge, and empower attendees to make lifestyle changes as a result of the event.

This year, we noticed something especially exciting. Yes, cookies and coffee are always a big hit; but truly meaningful conversations around the topic of sustainability seemed to be a top priority at this year’s event. This was so exciting for us because it illustrates how aware and passionate our students, faculty, and staff are at ISU. We’re so motivated to be a part of building this awareness into empowerment and action in the coming months, and even after our internships end.

As always, we had some amazing prizes that were given away! Everyone received Hy-Vee Bakery cookies, Starbucks coffee, and local apples from the ISU Horticulture Research Station. ISU Outdoor Recreation was at the event to provide free bike tune-ups, and the ISU Longboarding Club provided free longboard tune-ups. We also gave away Live Green! Initiative coffee travel mugs, buttons, stickers, and herb planters to participants! Participants who visited at least 25 out of 38 tables were also rewarded with an entry for the door prizes, which included:

  • $5 gift cards to Morning Bell Coffee
  • $10 gift card to Random Goods
  • Stuffed pumpkin decoration with two bars of chocolate
  • ISU t-shirt from Dogtown
  • Three gift bags from Portobello Road



Are those not some awesome prizes to win?! We are out-of-this-world thankful for the amazing local businesses that donated prizes to our event, and congrats to the 10 students who won door prizes this year!

Thanks again to all of the people both on- and off-campus who helped plan and make this event possible! To see a list of all participating organizations, click here.

Our next big campus event will be in February, but you’ll see plenty of us before then!


Until next time,



Campus and Community Engagement Intern

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