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

Students volunteering for Go Green for Big Red
Students volunteering for Go Green for Big Red

Balloon Release Tradition

UNL is the only institute of higher education in the country that still promotes mass littering through balloon releases – specifically at Husker football games at Memorial Stadium. Students in Sustain UNL saw this issue and started working to create a different reality during the fall 2018 semester. Through diligent efforts over 2 years, they convinced the student body that the university should find an alternative tradition to releasing balloons. This year, students in ASUN and Sustain UNL will continue to work with University Athletics to stop the tradition.

Ban the Bag

Details coming soon.

Divesting from fossil fuels

The University of Nebraska system currently has $91.3 million invested in the fossil fuel industry. During the spring 2020 semester, Sustain UNL and ASUN representatives alike decided it was time to move that money to more sustainable alternatives. These passionate students brought all four Nebraska University campuses (UNL, UNO, UNMC, & UNK) together to demand that the university system divests from fossil fuels in an effort called Divest NU.

Foam Free UNL

In spring 2016, student Senators unanimously passed a resolution encouraging the Nebraska Board of Regents to ban the purchase of Styrofoam food packaging products across the four universities in the NU system. The student government also passed a bill banning any purchase of Styrofoam food packaging products by ASUN.