ISU sustainability festivities reflect on positive environmental influence


Jeremy Andrews/Iowa State Daily

Qiyi Li, senior in landscape architecture, holds her award of Excellence of Sustainability at Sustainapalooza.

Justin Lo

Sustainapalooza, Iowa State’s annual celebration of sustainability, took place at the Memorial Union Feb. 25. The event was full of presentations and activities to recognize and promote the sustainability efforts on campus.

The event began with the Symposium on Sustainability where the past, present and future of sustainability at Iowa State was discussed through panel discussions.

Near the conclusion of Sustainapalooza, the 2014 Live Green! Awards for Excellence in Sustainability were given out to individuals and groups making an impact in ISU’s sustainability efforts.

This year’s award winners were: Greeks Go Green, Qiyi Li and the Sustainable Agriculture Student Association. The Community Design Lab, the Nicaragua Biochar Project and Angadbir Singh Sabherwal were also award nominees.

Curtiss Hall, Physics Hall and Linden Hall received recognition as buildings at Iowa State that used the least amount of electricity in 2013, while the Extension 4-H Building was recognized for reducing its energy usage over the past three years.

Students learned about reusing old containers and t-shirts to create new products through upcycling, created vegetable planters with empty glass jars. Students were also informed on ways that Iowa State is being sustainable through poster presentations and discovering resources that are helping students become aware of sustainability, such as CyRide and Enterprise CarShare.

“Some of the cool things I’ve learned were about some of the projects like using your smartphone to control the temperature of your home,” said Taylor Ringgenberg, a junior in mechanical engineering.

At Sustainapalooza, attendants got a chance to enjoy healthy food made from local products. The assortment included sweet potato croquettes, hummus with pita triangles and BBQ pork pizza.

“I liked the hummus and the crusty pita,” said Ian Corbin, a graduate student in civil engineering.

Members of The Green Umbrella gave out water bottles to event-goers that could be used to create fruit-infused water that made a pledge to be more sustainability-aware on the “pledge wall.”

Des Moines mayor Frank Cownie gave a lecture on climate preparedness at the local level and having a city resilient to severe weather.

“I thought that mayor Cownie was great,” said Green Umbrella co-president Caleb Swank, a sophomore in pre-business. “It’s really great to have somebody who is a leader in sustainability available to come talk to us on campus.”

Overall, the atmosphere at Sustainapalooza was full of people eager to know about how Iowa State is making a positive impact on the environment and what can be done to keep that going.

Green Umbrella co-president Ali Ford, junior in environmental science said she was very impressed with the amount of people who came and their participation in the event.

“The event was definitely another success, and it definitely shows that student interest in sustainability is still growing,” Swank said.