Iowa State celebrates ten years of sustainability initiative ‘Live Green!’

People come to celebrate ten years of dining and living green for ISU dining by getting a free cookie and apple on the East Marston Lawn on Sept. 10.

Willa Colville

This academic year marks 10 years of the “Live Green!” Initiative at Iowa State. To celebrate, the Office of Sustainability will be hosting events every month highlighting different aspects of the campus-wide initiative.

The “Live Green!” movement encourages students and faculty to implement sustainable practices into their everyday lives. Over the last decade, operations and initiatives have been enacted throughout campus to promote “green” living.

“It is exciting to think back to last ten years and everything we have accomplished since,” said Merry Rankin, director of sustainability. “The progress we have made is thanks to the dedication, commitment and passion of the students, faculty and community.”

For the 10 year celebration, each month has a different theme. August highlighted “Moving Green” with the “Yoga on the Lawn” event and September highlights Iowa State’s commitment to “Dining Green.”

On Monday, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. students and faculty visited the East Marston lawn for the “Dining Green Food & Features Event.”

At the event, attendees ate cookies made from scratch by ISU Dining and apples grown at the Horticulture Research Station.

Attendees also entered a drawing to win tickets to the local food fair held later this month, met with student organizations committed to nutrition, food and food security, and learned more about ISU Dining “Live Green!” operations.

This event, along with others which will be held throughout the school year, were organized by Live Green! student interns Molly Breen and Madeline Blandin. As interns, Breen and Blandin are in charge of organizing events, running social media and “getting the word out” about the initiative.

“We have really been looking at ways to engage with students,” Breen said. “We helped organize and put events together to engage and educate students and faculty.”

Karen Rodekamp, ISU dining business and support services manager, answered questions from students had at the event as well as discussing the many ways ISU Dining has participated in the sustainability initiative.

“We are always looking at how we can improve,” Rodekamp said. “But I think the campus has truly embraced sustainability.”

Over the last decade, ISU Dining has partnered with the Iowa State Horticulture Research Station. The station, which is comprised of 235 acres of land, a 15 acre lake and an irrigation system, sells produce such as onions, peppers, cucumbers and apples to ISU Dining.

Along with the horticulture station, ISU Dining buys meat and produce locally from Boone, Gilbert, Iowa City and Muscatine, to name a few.

ISU Dining began composting food waste in 2009. Specifically, residential dining centers on campus as well as ISU Dining catering services collect all food and napkins at the end of the day to compost. The waste is delivered to the ISU Compost Facility and eventually used to fertilize landscapes on campus.

Other events held this month to celebrate “dining green,” include a local food fair and local food festival. The fair, which will feature local foods, will take place Sept. 17 to Sept. 19 at Friley Windows Residential Dining Center.

After the fair, the fourth annual local food festival will take place on Central Campus on Sept. 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The festival will include educational displays, food samples and recipes using local foods.