Sustainability Office organizes week of events to raise environmental awareness

Events held during Sustainability Week include an E-Waste Drive, a film showing and a Missouri River cleanup.
At Tuesday’s Sustainapalooza celebration, Sustain Mizzou helped students plant flowers native to Missouri to teach the importance of native pollinators. courtesy of Camille McManus

This week, Sustain Mizzou is hosting Sustainability Week in an effort to promote environmental awareness on campus. Several events are occurring throughout the week that are open to students such as an environmental trivia night, farmers market and a tree planting.

“There are three components to sustainability: economic, environment and social,” said senior Rachel Peterson, a Sustain Mizzou member. “These three components work together to help us figure out how the world can sustain itself into the future.”

On Feb. 4, 2003, Sustain Mizzou was founded and in spring 2012, it hosted its first Sustainability Week. This year, Sustain Mizzou is focusing on the environmental component.

“Sustainability Week is a way to interact with a larger audience on campus and help them to understand the little things to change in daily life to help the cause,” Sustain Mizzou President Megan Tyminski said.

During the entirety of the week, a food drive will be held in Speakers Circle from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The monetary donations will go to Tiger Pantry to provide food for members of the MU community in need.

Ecochella, a free student-led concert featuring local musicians, was held in The Shack on Monday from 6-8 p.m.

On Tuesday, Sustainapalooza was held in the Student Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is an event in which students learn more about organizations across campus that contribute to MU’s sustainability and work to reduce its carbon footprint. There was an opportunity to plant flowers native to Missouri as well as learn how to support native Missouri pollinators.

Lunch was available from noon to 1 p.m. in the Multicultural Center where guest speaker Ben Kreitner, Columbia’s waste minimization coordinator, discussed different ways to be sustainable in daily life.

The day will end with a trivia night testing students’ environmental knowledge from 7-9 p.m. in The Shack. Free food and prizes will be available to participating teams.

On Wednesday, two events will occur simultaneously. Recycle Mountain in Speakers Circle and the E-Waste Drive in the Student Center are set to happen from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Recycle Mountain is an opportunity for students to become more aware of the amount of waste MU disposes of in recyclable forms. The smoothie bike, a bike students can pedal to cut fruits for to make smoothies, will also be available.

“It is literally a way that students can enjoy the fruits of their labor,” Tyminski said.

The E-Waste Drive gives students the opportunity to purge their discarded cords, chargers and batteries, as well as electronics. Electronics include anything containing a cord or battery such as hair dryers, electric toothbrushes, gaming consoles, headphones and full-size TVs.

To end the day, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power will be shown in Jesse Wrench Auditorium from 8-11 p.m. The film reveals how close the world is to an energy revolution.

On Thursday, Lowry Mall will host a farmers market and fair-trade sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local growers will provide fresh produce, baked goods, fresh-grilled hamburgers, organic coffee and more. It is advised to bring reusable mugs and bags for beverages and treats. The fair-trade sale will provide the opportunity for students to experience goods from around Columbia that focus on ethical production and manufacturing.

Another E-Waste Drive will be held in the Student Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a speaker panel for local sustainability action will occur in Leadership Auditorium from 6-8 p.m. The panel will include local leaders in sustainability who will be available to answer any questions about the environment and sustainability practices.

To end the week, Friday will include a third E-Waste Drive in the Student Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Following the drive, a native tree planting will begin at 4 p.m. in the RC16 parking lot. Six trees will be planted in proximity to the parking lot to symbolize gratitude for the great outdoors and MU’s campus.

The festivities continue into the weekend. To end Sustainability Week, a Stream Team event will be held with Missouri River Relief on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. The Stream Team will camp at the Missouri River at Alligator Cove in Orrick, Missouri over the weekend to pick up as much trash as possible in order to divert it from the waterways.

“It’s a good way to bond with each other and talk about sustainability,” Tyminski said.

Recently, MU received a STARS Gold Rating for Sustainability Achievements. MU received this award from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education for the second time, the first in 2015.

“This award reflects the hard work that has been put forward into sustainability efforts by the Sustainability Office,” Peterson said.

Edited by Morgan Smith |

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