Iowa City Climate Fest: September 19-26, 2020


Iowa City Climate Festival logo

We’ve got something to celebrate! Our community is taking action to address climate change. We all have a role to play and a story to tell.

Record a video, take a picture, or write a post and use the hashtag #IowaCityTakesAction to share it online.

Every story moves us forward. You could share:

  • Why climate action matters to you
  • What steps have you taken
  • What do you hope to do next
  • How can we build a better future together

Not on social media? We've got you covered! Use this form to upload your stories and images, and we'll share them for you.

We also have some great coloring sheets you can print, decorate, and hang as window art. You can snap a picture of your finished artwork and share it online!

1. I'm taking action color sheet
2. Plants & animals color sheet
3. Climate fest logo color sheet

*Please note, due to the rising number of COVID 19 cases, community events previously scheduled to take place at a designated time and location are now being offered in a virtual and/or self-guided format. See details below for updates.* 

Links to details

Monday, Sept. 21 Celebrate better transportation options

Personal Challenge: Use this easy calculator to find out how much your daily commute is costing you, then commit to trying something different this week. Pick a day to walk, ride a bike, or take a bus to work. Then recalculate your costs to figure out your savings if you kept it up a couple days every week!

Community Event: Looking for other green ways to go? Join us for a ribbon cutting on Facebook Live at 5:00 p.m. for the newest electric vehicle charging station in the Tower Place parking ramp. Or drive by the electric car show in front of Tower Place on Linn Street where local EV drivers will have their cars on display. For those inspired to learn more, you can join local drivers the following week for an online EV 101 presentation as part of National Drive Electric Week.

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Tuesday, Sept. 22: Taco ‘bout a sustainable lifestyle

Personal Challenge: It's Veggie Taco Tuesday! There have never been more options for eating a plant-based meal. New to veggie recipes? These taco recipes are a fun and easy place to start. Have a favorite of your own? Share it online using the festival hashtag #IowaCityTakesAction. Or if you just feel like a night out, use this map to visit one of our great local restaurants showcasing their own veggie taco creations for some takeout!

Community Event: As part of the Climate Fest, FilmScene is hosting a free virtual screening of The Biggest Little Farm, a movie that follows an eight-year quest to restore 200 acres of barren farmland by working in harmony with nature. You can watch the film anytime all day. Or, follow along at 7 p.m. as Iowa City's Climate Action staff live tweet the film @CityofIowaCity, followed by a live post-film discussion that will begin at 8:30 p.m. featuring panelists from the Climate Action Division, Field to Family, and FilmScene. In addition, Food & Water Action is hosting an independent event concurrent with the festival. Those curious to learn more about their work to advance sustainable agriculture can register to attend their virtual meeting through their website.

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Wednesday, Sept. 23: Better buildings build a better future

Personal Challenge: Cozy up to weatherizing your home. Cold weather is right around the corner, which makes this a great time to take steps to reduce your energy needs – and bills! – in winter. Learn how you can save up to $83 a year with one adjustment to your thermostat. Ready to do more? We've got some simple, inexpensive DIY projects you can tackle this week in your home or apartment for more savings.

Community Event: There’s a lot to be excited about in energy efficient building design.Click around on this map of some of Iowa City's LEED certified buildings to learn more about their green features. You can also check out our video of a local home with green features that might just inspire a few projects of your own. Or, learn how drone footage has been used to asses local homes for solar potential through the recent Solarize Johnson County initiative. Finally, test your knowledge of energy efficient building design with this interactive, 5 question quiz that you can take in the comfort of your own home.

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Thursday, Sept. 24: Reduce, reuse, recycle – and repair

Personal Challenge: Did you know nationally 1 out of 4 items that arrive at recycling centers aren’t recyclable? There are likely some culprits in your recycling bin, things that seem like they could be recycled but just can’t be. This week, use our DIY Home Recycling Audit to check your bin for misplaced items that commonly show up in Iowa City recycling bins. (A text only version of this document is also available.) Then let others who share your home or office bin know these items are best placed in the trash in the future.

Community Event: Cracked cell phone screen? Broken lamp? Wobbly chair? Extend the life of your purchases with by taking damaged goods to one of the local repair resources featured on this handy map. It saves money for you and landfill space for Iowa City. Feeling handy yourself? You might be surprised at all the things that can be fixed quickly and easily with some good instructions. Our virtual Fix-It Fair will show you how. And if you need some tools to get the job done, this map shows area resources where equipment great and small is available to borrow or rent.

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Friday, Sept. 25: Adaptation takes all of us working together

Personal Challenge: Five Iowa City businesses were recently selected to receive the first annual Climate Action at Work Awards for business practices they have adopted to reduce emissions. The winners will be announced at noon on Friday, Sept. 25. Check back here to find out who the winners are and all they've done to earn these awards. Then let them know how much you appreciate their hard work stepping up to bring emissions down.

Community Event: Mother Nature can be a powerful ally to help us adapt to the challenges of climate change. Check out this story map of the Sycamore Greenspace trail to learn more about natural features incorporated along the path and the benefits they provide. Then grab your bike or walking shoes and head out to the trail to see some of the features yourself! Or, register to participate in a guided hike and presentation at Turkey Creek Nature Preserve organized by the Bur Oak Land Trust. Remember to bring a mask and practice good social distancing whenever you're out in public. You can also learn more about work being done at the the Iowa Flood Center to create science-based information, tools, and services to increase flood resilience, including the the Iowa Watershed Approach project, which aims to reduce flooding in nine watersheds across the state.

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Additional Opportunities and Resources

Interested in other ways to drive down emissions in Iowa City? Our Climate Action Toolkit has a wide range of alternative actions you can take.