Resiliently United for a Sustainable Future

Hello everyone!

How were your first couple weeks of spring semester? 

It’s Caitlin and Pedro, Campus and Community Engagement and Social Media Engagement Interns for Live Green! here to talk about our big event coming up, Sustainapalooza!

Sustainapalooza is an annual event that coincides with the Iowa State University Symposium on Sustainability. The event is a celebration of sustainability efforts and initiatives on campus and in the community. Each year, Sustainapalooza focuses on a different theme. This year’s event theme, “Relentlessly and Resiliently United for a Sustainable Future,” encourages participants to reflect on and celebrate university and community resiliency, as well as their own, when faced with challenges, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s event takes place March 3, 5:30-8:30pm in the Memorial Union Great Hall.

The pandemic has impacted everyone in a variety of ways, but it has especially changed the way we gather, connect, and socialize. 

In order to adapt to these new circumstances, we have given much consideration to ensure safety precautions during this year’s event. Attendees will notice some differences to the event this year, including a designated entrance and exit and ongoing tracking of event capacity, as well as signs indicating one-way event traffic flow; social/physical distancing markings and hand sanitizer throughout the event and volunteers readily available to answer questions and ensure a fun, engaging and safety-first event. However, many of the essential elements that make Sustainapalooza what it is will still be featured at the event.

As always, Sustainapalooza 2021 will offer a tabling and networking opportunity with sustainability organizations. 

This gives student organizations the chance to showcase their work, recruit new members, and network with other students, faculty, staff, and organizations who have similar interests and commitments to sustainability. Some of the organizations that will be participating this year include Students Helping Our Peers (SHOP) (REMEMBER to bring a non-perishable food donation to donate to SHOP to be added to our campus food pantry!), Engineers for a Sustainable World, Pay It Forward, Be The Match On Campus, FP&M Recycling Services, Uganda Alliance, the Global Resource Systems program, and Council on the Built Environment. The organizations participating represent a wide range of sustainability focuses and interests encompassing environmental, social, and economic sustainability. 

This is a great opportunity to increase your knowledge of sustainability and learn how you can get involved with these organizations on campus. 

Besides all the entertainment offered by the clubs and organizations at the event, the Live Green! Team has worked diligently to add more sustainability awesomeness to the experience! 

One of the biggest highlights of the event in the past has been the amazing spread of food provided by ISU Catering. Though the pandemic has prevented us from serving food as we normally would, we are still going to ensure our attendees and participants get snacks to take away from the event! ISU Dining will be providing grab-and-go snack bags which will feature sweet and savory foods made with local ingredients. Each snack bag will contain protein bites, veggie and apple chips – created right here at ISU. Also a honey stick, from a local apiary, and a $1 coupon voucher – to enjoy your favorite beverage from The Roasterie. 

Another unique feature of Sustainapalooza is the sit down and create some cool sustainability things – GIY “green-it-yourself” stations. Because we cannot sit together and create this year, the GIY stations have been adapted into take-and-create kits. You can choose from two options, an Upcycled – Spread Some Joy Postcard Kit and a Make Your Own Beeswax Wrap Kit.  

Both kits will have all the materials attendees need to craft green products at home. 

The Upcycled Postcard Kit offers all the supplies to create handmade postcards. One postcard in each kit will be stamped and pre-addressed to send to residents at some local long-term care facilities as a way to connect and bring joy to our Ames community members who have been missing contact with friends and family.

The Make Your Own Beeswax Wrap Kit provides all the supplies to create beeswax wraps to use in place of plastic food wrap. We’ll be providing you with the supplies to make the beeswax wraps featured in the Live Green! Monthly February newsletter on page 11

To help empower attendees to think more sustainably and encourage personal green goal setting and initiatives, each year the event features a Green Wall where attendees write their thoughts and commitment to implementing more sustainable actions into their daily lives, right onto our life size wall. At the end of the event, it is always so interesting to see the collection of all the dedication to sustainability and a sustainable future from students, faculty and staff.

To ensure social and physical distancing at this year’s event, but still have an impressive collective representation of everyone’s input, this year’s Green Wall will be done in the form of a virtual word cloud where participants (at the event or attending virtually) can contribute from their electronic devices. The word cloud will be projected onto screens throughout the event venue (and later posted on our social media) and change in real-time whenever an attendee adds a response. Attendees will be able to post to the word cloud from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or by speaking to a volunteer at the event. 

As always, attendees have the opportunity to win green giveaways by participating in the event! 

Usually at our events, we give attendees prize cards that they present to each tabling organization to earn prizes according to the number of organizations visited. This year, we will still do this, but through a virtual BINGO prize card. Nothing to touch or get marked off. It can all be done through attendees’ electronic devices.

Another new feature this year! Attendees can access the virtual BINGO card before the event and start filling in some of the spaces NOW. The virtual BINGO prize cards are available on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and will also be available at the event, by QR code. 

The goal, of course, is to get a BINGO or multiple ones. For every BINGO, attendees can earn unique and useful green-minded prizes. 

  • One BINGO = your choice of one of the following: compostable sponge and mini food spatula, travel sewing kit or cling-able screen cleaner and compostable sponge. 
  • Two BINGOs = your choice of the “one BINGO” prizes AND your choice of an infuser water bottle or reusable coffee mug.
  • Three BINGOs = your choice of the “one BINGO” prizes AND your choice of the “two BINGOs” prizes AND your name entered in a drawing to win your choice of one (of four) gift cards from Morning Bell Coffee Roasters or one (of four) City of Ames FWD (food waste diversion) food waste composting bucket kits.

START collecting your BINGO today!!

BUT WAIT!!  There are more green goodies to talk about!!  

  • Everyone attending this year’s event will also receive an herb/edible flower planter kit – including seeds, soil disc and reusable/compostable planter pots. That’s right, when you are done with the first sprout, use the planters to plant more seeds, or give them to someone else to use or compost them.
  • Everyone attending this year’s event will also receive a reusable and pouchable shopping bag – for easy collection and carrying of all of your event goodies.

As we mentioned earlier, Sustainapalooza is offered each year as a part of the annual Iowa State University Symposium on Sustainability

This year’s Symposium also looks different, in consideration of COVID-19 precautions. The biggest change past attendees will notice is that we will not be gathering in person for a keynote address. Since we are not gathering for a keynote speaker, we will not be offering the poster and tabling reception that precedes the speaker’s address. 

Although we are not gathering in person, we are still able to gather virtually for a fabulous keynote speaker. We are SO excited to host Dr. Robert Bullard, Iowa State University alumni and recipient of the United Nations 2020 Champions of the Earth Achievement Award. Dr. Bullard will be speaking on “The Quest for Environmental and Climate Justice.”

Climate change is the defining global environmental justice, human rights, and public health issue of the twenty-first century. The most vulnerable populations in the United States and around the world will suffer the earliest and most damaging setbacks because of where they live, their limited income and economic means, and their lack of access to health care.  Dr. Bullard’s presentation will focus primarily on the U.S. and the need for empowering vulnerable populations, identifying environmental justice and climate change “hot-spot” zones and designing fair, just and effective adaptation, mitigation, emergency management and community resilience and disaster recovery strategies. He will offer a framework for dismantling systemic racism and policies and practices that create, exacerbate, and perpetuate inequality and vulnerability.  

This year’s adjustment in offering a virtual keynote address has allowed the unique opportunity for the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa to join Iowa State University in welcoming Dr. Bullard as a speaker to all of our universities on March 1 at 7pm. Read more about the Father of Environmental Justice and access the event link on the ISU Lectures Program event website.

Remember these Dates!!

Symposium on Sustainability – Keynote Lecture

Monday, March 1


Via WebEx link

Sustainapalooza –  

Wednesday, March 3


ISU Memorial Union, Great Hall

Connect to These Links!

For more information and to keep updated, visit:

2021 Symposium on Sustainability website

2021 Sustainapalooza Facebook Event

If you are interested in volunteering at the Sustainapalooza, we have opportunities, sign up!

2021 Sustainapalooza Volunteer Sign-Up 

We are SO excited to see you at this year’s event! 

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