Sustainapalooza in T-Minus 4 Hours!

Hello Cyclones! 

Live Green! has been off to a great start in the new academic year, and we’re so excited to share with you everything that’s happened thus far, and what you can look forward to in the coming months! 

We first wanted to introduce you us – the new Campus and Community Engagement interns for the 2019-2020 school year, Meghan Main and Kelsey Culbertson! Meghan is a junior majoring in Communication Studies. Meghan joined the Live Green! Team because she enjoys working with different departments and colleges at ISU to promote sustainability. Kelsey is a Senior studying Environmental Science. Kelsey was excited to become a CCE intern because it combined two of her favorite things: community events and environmentalism!


Fall semester was very exciting with the start of a new school year, three issues of our Live Green! Monthly newsletter being published and the celebration of National Campus Sustainability Day (NCSD)! NCSD is an annual event that takes place every year in October, and celebrates university and college commitment to and accomplishment in sustainability.

Each year ISU celebrates NCSD with an outdoor tabling event, allowing any campus organization (student organization, campus department or business unit) the opportunity to showcase how they are ensuring a greener and more sustainable ISU experience for you!  This year’s was fantastic (even though slightly windy)! The theme for the event this year was “Zero Waste”. While this can seem like a daunting goal to pursue, there are so many exciting initiatives and opportunities happening on campus and available and throughout the Ames community, we were excited to offer the challenge to attendees. As well as tabling displays showcasing zero waste efforts, accomplishments and resources on how to make a difference,  there were interactive components as well. From free bike repairs, to donating clothes for community members in need and donating food to The SHOP campus food pantry to making chew toys for the Ames Animal Shelter out of old t-shirts. NCSD was a celebration from beginning to end and we hope a celebration that attendees continued in their own lives following the event.


Our BIG news to share as spring semester is underway is the 2020 Symposium on Sustainability, that features, Sustainapalooza! Last night to kick-off the Symposium, we welcomed Erin Brockovich to Iowa State to speak on The Power of One. At first when we heard her name, it didn’t register… but then we did some research and THEN we watched the movie of her story, “Erin Brockovich”. WOW!! What an impressive story of the impact each of us can make. Julia Roberts portrayed Ms. Brockovich in the movie and won and Oscar, if that gives you any idea as to how impactful it is. We definitely encourage you to check it out!


Tonight IS the night!! Sustainapalooza is taking place in the Memorial Union Great Hall (and all adjoining rooms) 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. This year’s event theme is “Picture Yourself in a Sustainable World” and all facets of tonight are focused on each attendee really considering what their sustainable world looks like and discover ways to bring that vision to life. To achieve that we are offering SO many opportunities including: Green-It-Yourself Centers (GIY instead of DIY) that offer hands-on sustainability experiences in making your own eco-friendly toothpaste, building your own long shelf life trail mix, expanding your home weatherizing skills and upcycling old magnets into stylish ones, sweaters into coffee sleeves and coozies and posters into gift bags and envelopes. SO FUN!!! There is also a Clothing Swap happening as a part of the event. We have been collecting clothes for a month and we have some really stylish “new to you” options to check out. To swap, you can either donate clothing and swap for something else, bring two non-perishable food items for The SHOP food pantry and swap for one item or donate $2 to The SHOP and swap for one item (or donate $5 and swap for three items).


Did we mention the SO cool green prizes you can earn? As part of the event, campus and community organizations will be tabling in the Sun Room and by visiting them, you can earn some great sustainable living prizes including a travel sewing kit, compostable sponge, and herb and flower blooming kits that include a fully compostable growing pot. When you arrive at the event, be sure to get a prize card at the Welcome Table so that you can start earning prizes!!

Of course, all these activities will make you hungry. We have made that sustainable too! ISU Dining has offered such a diversity of event food that features all kinds of local food and food ingredients. Did we mention the popcorn bar and gelato that is a new addition to this year’s event? YUM!! 

We absolutely know how busy schedules are, especially those of a student. Truly though… take some time to stop by tonight!  You won’t regret it at all! And here’s the best thing – you can stop by any time between 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. and stay for as long as your schedule allows. Make it whatever experience you want it to be. There really is something for everyone!

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Later this semester we’ll have more information about upcoming “green” at ISU like Earth Day, more newsletters, and summer happenings! The “greening” never stops at Iowa State University. For all the day-to-day happenings in the meantime, stay connected to us through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and WordPress. You can also sign up to be on our listserv to have our monthly newsletter and information on the latest sustainability opportunities (environmental, economic and social) and connections – just drop an email to

See you soon!!

Meghan and Kelsey

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