Welcome to the City of Iowa City Sustainability webpage!
Iowa City is committed to being a leader in sustainable community development. Sustainability Coordinator Brenda Nations helps ensure that Iowa City's public services and planning efforts are rooted in sustainable principles.
The City of Iowa City received a 4-STAR Community Rating for sustainability excellence by being formally certified in the STAR Community Rating System, or Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities. Learn more about Iowa City's current rating, and efforts to improve to its sustainability practices by visiting www.icgov.org/STAR.
We invite you to browse our pages and learn more about Iowa City's sustainability efforts:
About: The purpose of this funding is to inspire and promote public involvement in the implementation of the Iowa City Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. Community input and involvement are crucial to reduce local greenhouse emissions in order to reach community-wide carbon reduction goals. This grant program aims to enhance local climate action through work performed by community-based organizations. This year, the grant will fund projects that specifically promote or implement one or more of the 35 actions within the Plan.
Qualifications: To apply, applicant must be principally and physically located in Iowa City.
Learn more and apply: www.icgov.org/communityclimateactiongrant
Contact: Sustainability Services, 319-887-6161
Take action by participating in current sustainability programs and activities. Browse reports and become educated about Iowa City's current climate situation.
Sustainable Iowa City Newsletter
Stay up-to-date with sustainability news in Iowa City by subscribing to the Sustainable Iowa City newsletter at www.icgov.org/e-subscriptions. Enter your e-mail and check the sustainability box.
Learn more about Iowa City's sustainability superstars who are making our community a better place to live, work and play.
February Feature: Blake Rupe, the Coordinator of the Sustainable Water Development Program, the Program Manager of the UI Office of Sustainability and the Environment, and Instructor in Global Health
What does sustainability mean to you?
To me, sustainability means making a mindful effort to support my neighbors in any capacity that I can and helping others to do the same. As an Iowan who grew up on a farm outside of Ottumwa, my childhood was spent outside searching for arrowheads in creeks, swimming in ponds, catching lighting bugs, and climbing trees. I want my children to have that formative and intimate relationship with nature, so living a life that aims to conserve and protect the gems of Iowa is very important to me. In order to do that, I believe that if we support a local circular economy -- making mindful, conscious efforts to support our neighbors in any capacity that we can -- the end result is a more sustainable Iowa…naturally!
What actions have you taken to promote sustainability?
Professionally, I’ve been working with a group of sustainability-minded coworkers in the College of Engineering to implement changes that make a large difference in our building. We implemented a packing material collection program that diverts the packing peanuts and air pockets that we receive in shipments and donates them to Mailboxes of Iowa City for them to reuse. This has led to us diverting the equivalent of 10 refrigerators of packing materials for re-use, and that number continues to increase as awareness spreads in our building. We also implemented a multi-building, office-based compost initiative with the local company Compost Ninja and Eco-Care that has diverted over 440 pounds of organic materials from the landfill. Finding these opportunities that improve our work place has been a welcomed challenge that has led to tangible, and measurable, positive results.
What other efforts should we consider to advance sustainability?
I believe where we will have the biggest success by learning how to meet people where they are at on the sustainability spectrum. It’s important to recognize that it is a privilege to have the ability to live sustainably in this country. It is a privilege to have compost pickup curbside, or even have curbside garbage pickup. We didn’t (and still don’t) have those options on the farm I grew up on. Recognizing that whatever efforts a person can physically/financially/emotionally/spatially do to be more sustainable is a success and we need to recognize those successes rather than focusing on the perceived “failures” in those situations.