Small Actions, Big Impact

October is Sustainability Month at Truman, with the theme Small Actions, Big Impact. The Sustainability Office has the entire month packed with events led by  different environmental groups on campus.

The culmination of Sustainability Month is the Sustainability Fest on the SUB Lawn on October 27th from 3:30-5 p.m. 

Celia Barbieri, organizational liaison for the Sustainability Office, said, “There are a lot of other events throughout the month, but this is the grand finale.”

Many environmental organizations, such as Environmental Campus Organization, PLANTS! and the Student Climate Union, will be tabling during Sustainability Fest in addition to performances from Truman music groups like Minor Detail, Barbieri said. It’ll just be an afternoon celebration of all things sustainable.

The Sustainability Office started planning the second week of classes, said Barbieri. All the groundwork, all the planning, and all the collaborations with organizations are all student-led.

The Sustainability Office, except for the faculty advisor, is completely managed by the students.

The Sustainability Office works to improve each year. 

Olivia Richter, the big events coordinator for the Sustainability Office, said, “We evolve it as well as workshop what did and didn’t work every year because we are constantly cycling new people and ideas into the office.”

Sustainability Fest will also involve the broader community outside of campus,Barbieri said.

“We have these beautiful resources like the Thousand Hills State Park, so that is something we are focusing on this year,” said Barbieri,

We are also having our clothing swap during Sustainability Fest, which is popular every year, Barbieri said.

The clothing swap started as a project in a class called grassroots environmentalism, an action-based course Richter and her friend decided to take, said Richter. The class, ENVS 332: Grassroots Environmentalism, will be offered again during the spring of 2024.

“The clothing swap is actually my baby,” said Richter.“Then, the sustainability office asked if they could work with us to make the initiative a Sustainability Office program and I said, ‘Of course!’”

The clothing swap is exactly what it sounds like. People participate by coming together to donate their clothes and choose new clothes that others have donated.

At the end of the swap, the rest of the clothes will either be donated to a shelter in Columbia or it will roll over into the next semester, said Richter.

“We’re starting a collection when we come back from mid-term break because we want to give people the opportunity to go home and look through their clothes,” said Richter. “People can bring up to 20 items of good quality to the office, and then, they can come back on swap day to look at everyone’s collections and take up to however many items they brought in.”


“It’s a good way to get new clothes without having to buy new things,” said Richter.

The ultimate goal is to show all the students on Truman’s campus that we do care about sustainability, Barbieri said. 

Barbieri said she hopes events ease students’ minds about climate change by showing the actions that occur on campus they can participate in.

“Our theme this year is Small Actions, Big Impact to emphasize that even though you’re the little guy, you can still do things to help,” Barbieri said. “I hope that this event will help cement that in people’s minds.”

“I think in the sphere of environmental activism, we can be quick to judge others for not prioritizing environmental issues in the same way that we do, and that is a stereotype the Sustainability Office has recognized and wants to get away from because we recognize people have other things going on in their lives, and it can sometimes be a privilege to put the

environment at the forefront of our minds,” said Richter. “That’s why the goal of Sustainability Month is really just to meet people where they are.”


“Anyone can always come see us in Violette Hall 1310 Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m,” said Barbieri. “We’re always happy to have visitors pop their heads in. We don’t get as much traffic as we would like.”

Below are the recurring sustainability and environmental events for October.

Sunday: Hiking in Thousand Hills State Park with TruOutdoors at 1:30 p.m.

Monday: Stargazers open house at the University Farm at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday and Thursday: Slacklining on The Quad with the Student Recreation Center from 4:30-6p.m.

Saturday: Farmers’ Market on The Square from 7a.m. to 12 p.m.

Daily: Battery Drive through the Sustainability Office