Sustain Mizzou to become an official MU program

Student-run organization to receive funding to promote sustainability efforts on campus.

April 22, 2021
Contact: Sara Diedrich, diedrichs@missouri.edu, 573-882-3243

For nearly 20 years, Sustain Mizzou, a student organization at the University of Missouri, has worked to promote sustainability on campus through education, cooperation and local action. It’s the student group that helped advance recycling at MU, introduced Tiger Tailgate Recycling and encouraged e-waste drives across campus.

Now, the university is supporting the group’s success by turning Sustain Mizzou into a campus program with a full-time director and two part-time student positions. The program is expected to be in place by Fall 2021 with funding from the student sustainability fee and the Missouri Student Association.

“This is vindication of all the hard work Sustain Mizzou has been doing,” said Bryan Goers, senior coordinator in the MU Student Engagement Office.  “We’re excited because it’s a win-win for Mizzou and for the students who have long been asking for more sustainability programming.”

Over the years, Sustain Mizzou’s projects have covered a wide range of areas, including keeping area waterways clean, supporting local farmers and maintaining beehives on campus.

Zoë Westhoff, an MU senior and president of Sustain Mizzou, is excited about the new opportunities that will come from the organization’s new status.

“We’re going to have a seat at the table,” she said.

As a funded program, Westhoff hopes Sustain Mizzou will expand its current programs and continue spreading the importance of sustainability across campus and educating students on ways to get involved.

“It happens every day,” she said. “It’s being a conscious consumer of what you purchase, listen to, your media, your politics, what you choose to spend your time and money on.”

Sustain Mizzou has a lengthy list of accomplishments, including its work to get a recycling program on campus in 2005. In the first nine years of the program, the university saved $1.5 million.

Most recently, Sustain Mizzou has been working to bring composting back to campus. Composting is the process of recycling organic materials, like food and yard scraps. In 2017, composting was a routine part of Rollins Dining, where 700 pounds of food waste was collected each week, totaling about 200 tons of food waste a semester.

Westhoff would like to bring composting back to the dining halls and integrate it into the residence halls.

Related story: Tigers are black, gold and green

Subscribe to

Show Me Mizzou

Stay up-to-date on all things Mizzou when you subscribe to the Show Me Mizzou newsletter. Issues will arrive in your inbox every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Subscribe