Sustainability Month events encourage students to get involved


GVL / Annabelle Robinson

Emma Armijo, Staff Writer

Campus Sustainability Month is an international movement that Grand Valley State University and many other schools are taking part in, hoping to create more agents for change for the health of the planet. GVSU is celebrating sustainability in the month of October through a series of events and activities held on and off-campus.

Throughout the month, the GVSU Office of Sustainability Practices, along with multiple student organizations, will be hosting and promoting opportunities for students to learn ecologically viable strategies. Office of Sustainability Practices Director, Yumiko Jakobcic, said GVSU uses sustainability month to highlight all of the eco-friendly work being done all across campus. 

“There are so many people working on sustainability efforts; departments, student organizations, community partners,” Jakobic said. “This is a way for us to celebrate that work.”  

As a whole campus community, GVSU strives to be as conscious as possible when it comes to sustainability and environmental issues. Providing easily accessible recycling bins, working to convert to a cashless campus and using recycled materials frequently prove to students and the community that GVSU is serious about lasting solutions. 

Jakobcic said there are many reasons why it is not only important to be sustainable, but beneficial, such as personal ethics, financial effectiveness and social motivations to describe the importance of being sustainable. 

“For me personally, I want to do everything I can to leave a brighter future for younger generations,” Jakobcic said.

GVSU has its own list of events and opportunities for those who would like to get involved with sustainability on campus. Lakers will find the chance to join clubs, volunteer and get free snacks and small prizes at Sustainability Month events. Graduate Assistant in the Office of Sustainability Practices, Kathryn Carey, said there are many unique experiences that Lakers are bringing to Sustainability Month. 

“A really fun way to celebrate is through volunteering at our farm, the Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP),” Carey said.  “This is a great way to learn more about sustainability and get involved!” Carey says.

Volunteering for the Sustainable Agriculture Project will take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Another event returning to GVSU Sustainability Month is the Repair Clinic, hosted by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. On Oct. 19,  students can bring items like broken glasses or ripped clothes to get repaired instead of buying new things. 

Besides attending Sustainability Month events, there are many ways that students and community members can practice renewability. Correctly sorting garbage, being aware of how resources are being used and paying attention to what sorts of foods you’re eating are all ways that anyone can practice sustainability. Michael Hinkle, Farm Manager and Educator in the Office of Sustainability Practices, said that making conscious and informed decisions day to day can lead to a longer-lasting Earth.

“Be conscious of where you’re putting your trash, where your food comes from, and whether you’re using your resources efficiently,” Hinkle said. “For food, (ask yourself): is what you’re consuming food, or a food-like product? Heavily processed foods have a negative impact on both the environment and your health. For using resources, it’s as easy as turning off the lights.”

For those in the community who are looking to get involved, Hinkle recommends the Student Environmental Coalition, Farm Club or SAP’s volunteer hours, where volunteers are sent home with fresh produce. For the downtown campus, New City Neighbors and Kids Food Basket are great resources. 

“We hope to raise awareness about sustainability and inspire others to join our efforts,” Jakobcic said. 

To get more details about these events and others similar, visit