Student organizations go green


Abigail Schafer/Iowa State Daily

Daffodils bloom while university workers prepare campus for spring. 

Emma Blickensderfer

While it may seem unattainable to make a difference in the world as a college student, there are student organizations out there with the mission to do just that.

Iowa State’s Office of Sustainability, also known as Live Green!, oversees all green initiatives as well as the student organizations that host service projects and educational opportunities for students who want to learn how to live a sustainable life, said Molly Breen, campus and community engagement intern for Live Green!

The Green Umbrella and Greeks Go Green are just two examples of student groups that take part in the green conversation.

Tyler Sward, president of Greeks Go Green and junior in supply chain management, said the organization was part of the community service portion of Greek Week.

“We did a week of service event where a pairing of greek chapters came and helped us clean areas surrounding residence halls,” Sward said.

Greeks Go Green is also trying to promote sustainable living by making it a competition within the greek community.

To do so, it is creating a handbook of ways chapter houses can implement sustainable practices. When a chapter achieves these habits, it could win an award.

The Green Umbrella has committees that are each responsible for events such as National Campus Sustainability Day, Sustainapalooza and Earth Week, Courtney Norelius, co-president, said.

While each event has its differences, the key point is to educate students about how they could make small changes to their lives to make a difference to the environment, Norelius said.

Norelius said that if students want to live sustainably, the first thing they should do is increase their awareness.

“If you’ve never heard of [an organization], look into it and see what they are doing,” she said. “If you can start there, it is a lot more obtainable and less scary than seeing it as changing the world.”

Breen said that you can start with yourself and try to notice the little things you can do to make a big difference.

“Use reusable mugs, pick up a piece of trash,” she said. “There are so many easy things to do that will make an impact on yourself and the planet that will motivate people to do the same.”