Iowa State clubs celebrate National Sustainability Day


Jake Webster/Iowa State Daily

The Live Green! Initiative hosted their annual “College Creek Cleanup” event June 15. RJ Green, sustainability strategic planning intern, lifts the lid of a garbage can out of the murk of College Creek, which is near the Ames Intermodal Facility. 

Whitney Spencer

The Green Umbrella and Live Green! organizations hosted National Campus Sustainability Day on Friday. The goal of the event was to spread awareness about sustainability and give students the opportunity to see what kinds of sustainable club involvement Iowa State’s campus has to offer.

The Students Helping Our Peers (SHOP) was one club that participated in the event. The SHOP is an on-campus food pantry for students that accepts any donations, though monetary donations and nonperishable food items are the main two.

It is a completely anonymous and volunteer-run organization at Iowa State. Kathryn Post, junior in culinary food science and secretary of the club, said they deliver to about 30-40 Iowa State students per week. 

“The main purpose of being at the event is to bring awareness about the organization and let people know that this option is out there for them,” Post said.

The Environmental Education Club was also present at the event. Leah Johnson and Abigail Morgan were two club members running the booth. The club’s main goal is community outreach, or getting more people to be passionate and sustainable toward the environment.

“One of the biggest things we do is library programs at the Ames library,” Johnson said. “We teach little kids about different things about nature and the environment so they can get excited about that at an early age.”

Sixteen organizations were in attendance at the event, The SHOP and the Environmental Education Club being just two. All organizations had a message to spread about how students could make a point to be more sustainable on campus. 

Swechha Ghimire, junior in software engineering, and Morgan Ambourn, senior in computer engineering, were two students out of many who attended the event. Ghimire was previously aware of the event, having stopped by last year’s celebration, and decided to stop by again this year, this time with Ambourn.

”I’ve learned that there’s a lot of different clubs that relate to sustainability; I thought that there weren’t many,” Ghimire said. Ambourn followed with, “Yeah, even some of the clubs that didn’t necessarily sound like sustainability clubs had some factors in it that related.”

The pair were hoping to become more aware about clubs and learn more about sustainability in general. Ghimire was previously a member of the Conservation Club, and Ambourn is now a member of the Engineers for a Sustainable World. They both said they enjoyed the event and thought that it was very approachable.

“I think it’s easy for people to walk by,” Ambourn said. “Like when you have random cookies for example, people will be more willing to stop by and talk to people, especially at a location like this.”

Both students said they already practice sustainable methods. Ghimire doesn’t consume meat regularly and uses reusable grocery bags as often as she can. Ambourn also uses reusable grocery bags and has a compost back in her hometown.