Established Initiatives

Working toward greater sustainability at UNL is a process of developing new ways to improve the ways we use resources and how we share the stories of those practices and advocate for others to engage in similar practices. We're proud of these established initiatives that have gained a strong foothold on campus as continue to infuse new energy into new priorities.

Go Green for Big Red

“UNL Recycling partners with Recycling Enterprises to encourage recycling in parking lots and walkways on UNL property around Memorial Stadium on Husker football home game days. Active for several years, the program has become familiar to many regular tailgaters.

Each football home game day, the program helps divert thousands of pounds of materials from the landfill. To make it happen, volunteers suit up in their Husker red "Recycle" shirts and grab rolls of bright green recycling bags, which they distribute to tailgaters and then later collect when full. Some adventurous volunteers sort through bins, recovering bottles and cans that got left behind. You may even find volunteers wading through a dumpster, green bag in hand.

Go Green for Big Red welcomes any volunteer who is interested in promoting recycling on football home game days. If you or your group is interested in volunteering for the season, please contact the recycling coordinator at 402-472-9131 and

photo collage of activities during Earthstock weeks
Students volunteering for Go Green for Big Red


“Four Weeks to Learn and Grow,” Earthstock is an annual celebration of Earth Day that began in spring 2014. In past years, the event featured a policy discussion panel with state and local officials, an “upcycling” workshop, documentary viewings and speaker series, a festival featuring all things bicycle, a sustainability carnival, and business expo. The celebration ends with a concert featuring local artists and a block party that brings to campus local businesses and organizations dedicated to sustainability.

The event is made possible through partnerships between the ASUN Environmental Sustainability Committee, Sustain UNL, Bike UNL, Landscape Services, Campus Unions, and many community organizations. Sponsorship comes from local businesses, organizations, university departments, and student government.

Read articles about Earthstock from UNL Today and the Daily Nebraskan.

photo collage of activities during Earthstock weeks
Student Activities during Earthstock weeks

UNL Student Organic Farm (Bugeater Farm)

Students at UNL have the opportunity to participate in a student-run organic farm located on East Campus. Bugeater Farm provides experiential learning for students interested in gardening, operating Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), or supporting local food grown by peers.

Learn more about Bugeater Farm's CSA program.

  • UNL’s Student Organic Farm welcomes new members throughout the year.
  • Students can grow vegetables, participate in the community supported agriculture program, or learn more about gardening.
  • Visit the organization's website for more information on how to participate
photo collage of UNL students growing vegetables on Bugeater Organic Farms
UNL students growing vegetables on Bugeater Organic Farm

Campus Conservation Nationals

Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN) is a nationwide energy-saving competition between colleges, and UNL students work with facilities and operations staff to compete. While students engage their peers in programming and pledges that encourage energy savings (with incentives), staff measure energy savings and provide daily updates. In spring 2015, UNL placed second in the Big Ten Conference with 5% energy reduction over 3 weeks. The competition has extended between students in different UNL residence halls.

Read this article about CCN in the Daily Nebraskan.

Sustainability Roundtable

Each year, the Environmental Leadership Program hosts the Sustainability Roundtable. The event is open to all students, staff and faculty interested in topics in sustainability. Local speakers are invited to discuss topics of interest to students. Previous topics include water, energy, agriculture, transportation, policy, and waste. Speakers and ELP members help facilitate the discussion that is largely between the attendees who provide input on their ambitions for UNL.

Read this article on the Sustainability Roundtable in the Daily Nebraskan.

Policy for the Plains

In April 2014, the Environmental Leadership Program hosted the Policy for the Plains forum during Earthstock, the month-long celebration of Earth Day. The event featured state and local officials discussing issues such as climate change, waste concerns and the role of government and students in sustainability. It was a unique opportunity for students to interact with speakers who have direct involvement in policymaking.

Read about this forum in the Daily Nebraskan.