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Iowa State holds celebration in honor of Campus Sustainability Month

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Ben DeMarais
The Campus Sustainability Celebration’s chalkboard encouraged students to create their own sustainability pledges.

Each October, Iowa State holds a celebration in honor of Campus Sustainability Month. This year’s event took place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday on the South Library Lawn. 

Campus Sustainability Month, sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), provides an unparalleled series of opportunities to engage and inspire incoming students and other campus stakeholders to become leaders in sustainability, according to AASHE.

This year’s event was complete with student organization booths, green-it yourself activities, free hot cider and music provided by student radio station KURE.

Nadia Snow, a junior in environmental science, is the treasurer and secretary of the Environmental Science Club at Iowa State. The organization hosted a booth at the celebration event to inform students more about their organization and the importance of environmental care. Snow and other members of the organization handed out seed paper which can be planted in home gardens.

“It’s important to support and encourage sustainability at a college level in order to teach the youth the importance of caring for our environment,” Snow said. “We’re the next generation in line so it’s important that we as the youth of this country are informed about topics like sustainability.”

Iowa State Student Government’s Sustainability Committee attended the event in hopes of spreading awareness about the ISU Green Initiatives Fund, which supports student-initiated projects that promote environmental, economic and social sustainability.

“We want to spread awareness about what we do as well as other sustainability projects taking place on our campus,” Olivia Miller, a senior and member of the sustainability committee, said.

The event also provided an opportunity for different organizations to connect and collaborate for future projects and events.

“This event has allowed us to collaborate and see what the other clubs on campus are doing,” Caden Klopfenstein, a freshman and member of the Student Government sustainability committee said. “We’re always looking for ideas and this event has allowed us to see other ideas from organizations like ours and build off of them.”

In addition to student organizations, other groups supporting sustainability in Ames were present at Monday’s celebration.

The Mustard Seed Community Farm is an Ames’ community farm and garden dedicated to sustainable, simple living, love of our neighbor, and creating a community in which everyone can participate in growing and eating delicious, healthy, locally produced food, according to their website.

Volunteers can come to the farm and pick fruits and vegetables for donations and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes. The organization hosts events such as planting or constructing workbeds and offers scholarship opportunities to Iowa State students.

“These kinds of events are important for college campuses to hold so that people are aware of what is going on near them and encourage those in the community to contribute to a sustainable future,” Ariana Decleyre, a junior in agronomy and member of the Mustard Seed Community Farm said.

Steve Kohtz is the recycling and special events coordinator at Iowa State. Kohtz recently helped launch a new signage campaign to promote proper recycling practices on campus. Known by many as “Steve the recycling guy,” Kohtz attended the celebration in hopes of informing students and staff about the importance of proper recycling.

 Kohtz organized a game of “What Recycles?” at his booth, in which students aimed to name five items that can properly be recycled to receive a prize.

“Events like these expose students to opportunities and new ideas,” Kohtz said. “It’s really a moment to immerse yourself in a great learning experience.”

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