Thursday, November 29, 2012

Iowa Goes Blue

Wednesday, November 28th, around 450 people sat in the Cedar Falls High School gym to understand how they can take part in the new Blue Zones Project makeover.

What is a Blue Zones Project?  It's a community effort to increase the amount of healthier choices for its citizens--whether it be having fresh produce in the grocery store more readily available or designing better bike lanes for easier and more direct access to work.  The idea is to create that ripple effect and have the idea of a safer, healthier community spread around the world.

Spencer's Fareway becomes Iowa's first Blue Zone grocery store.
Read full article here:

Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Spencer, and Mason City were selected as demonstration site communities for Iowa. The event held Wednesday officially kicked off the initiative for Cedar Falls to help make Iowa the healthiest state in the country by 2016.  To do so, the goal is to create easier, healthier choices for citizens through changes to environment, social and policy networks.

Not only are there physical changes to the town, but there are lots of activities and classes you can take to become a healthier you.  From a walking club, to cooking classes, there are plenty of opportunities for you to learn the ropes of a becoming a fit and thriving community.  Check here for more information.

Help make everyone in your community healthier and happier by pledging today! Visit to sign up and begin prolonging your beautiful life!

Here are some extra links for more information on the Blue Zones Project:

*State logo courtesy of

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Reduce, Revamp, Rewear


We all have those clothes buried in the back of our closets just sitting there, dying for us to rediscover them and give them life again.  Unfortunately, that rarely happens.  That sweatshirt you bought in 7th grade is probably going to be living untouched until you move or your mom makes you clean out your closet.  This year, you'll have the opportunity to make good of those old clothes!

Bring them to University of Northern Iowa's Biannual Clothing Exchange!

Wednesday, November 28th and Thursday, November 29th

9 AM - 3 PM in the Maucker Union Ballroom

For every item you donate, you receive an item in return!

Bring you clothes, shoes, and accessories to the Student Involvement Center in Maucker Union, or bring them the day of the event!

Leftover items are donated to charity.

Check out the offical Facebook page for more information.


Monday, November 5, 2012

AASHE Conference

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi

Attending the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Conference further fueled my desire for making a difference. It is incredibly inspiring to be surrounded by around two thousand students, faculty, and staff from around the country and the world who are all working for a more sustainable planet. As the Director of Environmental Affairs for Northern Iowa Student Government, I used this experience to network and learn from others who are working on similar projects.

At AASHE, the students spent the entire first day together. I talked with students from California, Texas, Massachussetts, and many other states. It was incredible how similar we are; we were able to exchange project ideas, contact information, and challenges. We attended sessions to hear about other students’ efforts, so that we can learn from others’ challenges and successes. For my Presidential Scholar Think Tank experience, my group is researching, planning, and implementing a project related to local foods. Therefore, I especially used these student sessions to find out how other schools had started and maintained these projects. Composting, sustainability funds, community gardens, and much more were just some of the session topics that I attended. There were also beneficial sessions on overcoming silos among student organizations and departments. Overall, I learned that involving as many students on campus in sustainability initiatives leads to high success rates. With that, look for some exciting student projects making a presence on campus in the future!

Hunter Lovins, the AASHE keynote speaker, delivered a powerful message that truly resonated with me. Hunter addressed that while voting with your ballot and voting with your dollars are important, it is voting with your hours that has the true ability to influence people’s lives. In the end, how you spend your time in life is what is going to really matter. If you devote yourself to a cause with your time, then you are investing in personal experiences. In an hour a week, there is true potential to change others’ lives. After hearing this message, I have been analyzing where I spend my time to make sure that that aligns with what I believe is most important in life. Where are you spending your time?

AASHE was a memorable networking and learning experience that I am grateful to have had!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

No Shave November

Being more sustainable doesn't mean you're giving up on fun.  Today is November 1st--more commonly known as No Shave November.  A month where men can, well, be the manliest of men.  It's a fun time of the year where men can just be lazy and let it all grow out. There's another aspect behind No Shave November I'll bet you probably have never thought of before--water conservation!
Think about it. On average, you use about five gallons of water every time you shave. Times that by seven days, and you've ended up using about thirty-five gallons of water a week.

So as you men start your month long competition on who has the longest, beardiest beard of all, think about the aspect of water conservation.  Hold your friends accountable--don't let them shave!

Make sure you compare your water bills from October and November.  See if there's a difference!

Document yourselves and post them to our Facebook.  Show the world the [not so] hard work you've been doing for the last 30 days!


For the month of November, UNI's Student Nature Society is hosting No Shave November to promote water conservation and well, who doesn't want to grow a beard for a cause?

Here's how it works: We will be setting up a booth outside the greenhouse on campus the week of Oct. 29th-Nov. 2nd, stop by with $1 to register to receive a mustache bracelet AND get your clean-shaven "before" photo taken! *All photos will be saved, "after" photos will be taken at the end of the month, and we will vote on the hairiest philanthropist! (More details to follow)


Check out the full details of the event here

Best of luck!