A Schurz Exposé: Do these Brats Recycle?

By Lauren Looney

Recycling is one of the most elementary attempts at sustainable living. Seriously, toddlers and gorillas can sort their own refuse (though at the moment, I have no research to back the latter up).  So as I lose faith daily in our campus’ ability to do the simplest things for the environment, I wondered how my residence hall, Schurz, was doing in the recycling department. After doing a little investigating/snooping/breaking-and-entering, I was shocked at what I found. This post is for mature audiences only, so the young don’t lose faith in humanity.

In the recycling room: the lights were on! Despite the plastic recycling bin being centimeters away, the regular bins were full of plastic bottles. Cardboard and a creepy leg lamp was in the aluminum bin. Filthy napkins were in paper bin.

What I found in dorms was not any more comforting. The people on my floor were not reluctant at all to show me how they were improperly recycling. They found my horrified expressions quite amusing.

Note to self- no more investigative reporting unless I plan on paying for expensive stomach ulcer surgery. Note to Schurz residents- stop devolving, gorillas are one-upping you.

Cold weather hiking in Columbia and beyond

By Tina Casagrand

Fording a stream
Be sure to wear heavy-duty shoes with waterproofing in case you need to ford some streams.

Cold weather and post-Thanksgiving “back in shape” blues drives crowds of people inside for exercise.  But where’s the fun in a treadmill?  Especially with an unseasonably warm winter, nature lovers can stay outdoors for plenty of hiking, running and paddling throughout the season.

The brand-new Missouri State Park Stories site suggests 10 great fall hikes in our beautiful state.  Mid-MO trails that made the cut include Devil’s Icebox Trail at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park and Rocky Top Trail at Lake of the Ozarks State Park.

If you’re ready to go, Virginia Outdoors shared some great tips for cold weather hiking.  I’ve copied a few below, plus some new ones especially for Mid-Missouri:

  1. Check the forecast before you head out. With weather as volatile as Missouri’s, it’s smart to know what might come on hour-by-hour.
  2. Gear up! Wear mittens, waterproof boots, a windproof jacket and a hat or hood (40 to 50% of your body heat is lost through your head).
  3. Be careful where you step — exposed rock or bare ground are far safer than packed snow or icy surfaces. Don’t step on wet wood or icy, sloping rocks- you could slip and get injured.
  4. Plan ahead. Missouri State Parks offers trail maps, as does Trails.com (except it works so well they make you pay after 2 weeks).  Take a friend or two with you, and always let people know where you’ll be hiking.
  5. Eat high energy snacks. Nuts and dried fruit will fuel your body’s “furnace.”  And of course, don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Need extra motivation to brave low temperatures? Check out Outdoor Nation.  In an effort to expand outdoor recreation and participation, they offer bi-weekly “missions.”  Take on the missions, post on the message boards, and you’ll rack up points that you can then turn in for cool outdoor gear.

Happy hiking!

Sweet Sustainatato Pie Recipe

sweet sustainatatoWhen Sustain Mizzou members cooked for St. Francis House last week, we made four tasty sweet potato pies.  Here’s the recipe, modified from a delicious concoction found on AllRecipes.com.  We cut the sugar and used small sweet potatoes from the Root Cellar instead of one big one.  That made it a little harder to peel, but they didn’t have to cook as long. So here it is, just in time for Thanksgiving — Sweet Sustainatato Pie:


  • 1 pound of sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 large local eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust


  1. Boil sweet potatoes whole in skin for 35 to 45 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potatoes, and remove the skin.
  2. Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust. (Be careful not to overfill the pie.  It cooks best when it levels off just below the crust’s top.  If you have leftover filling, you can cook it in a separate dish.)
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.

My Green Cities offers local gift guide

By Tina Casagrand

My Green Cities logoWith so many local shops and restaurants around town, it’s sometimes overwhelming to consider what to give your favorite sustainer for the holidays.

Here’s a good jumpstart: Arianna Parsons at My Green Cities just posted a green gift guide to local businesses.  It’s an attractive 28-page book that explains why they love each place, how to order, and what cost to expect.

My Green Cities is piloting their business guide and app software in Columbia.  “The My Green Cities app is designed to match consumers and independent businesses on issues of sustainability and social awareness. “

Planning a rocking benefit concert: Gulf Sounds

Kelly Gehringer (third from left) organized Gulf Sounds and serves as Vice President of Communications for Sustain Mizzou. Pictured here are other key Gulf Sounds volunteers.In April, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had a devastating effect on pelicans and turtles, fishermen and locals, in addition to what once was considered the pure water and plant life of the Gulf.

I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to combine my passion for music with an environmental cause and I had to seize this one. I decided to pick three organizations that are providing aid to the Gulf, to cover three categories: environment, community and wildlife. The idea was to create an event with Sustain Mizzou that people could respond to – understand each organization and choose which cause to fight for. There would also be a variety of local bands people would be introduced to, so they could choose when to come to the concert as well. Finally, we would sell raffle tickets and raffle off gift certificates to various restaurants in the District.

Continue reading Planning a rocking benefit concert: Gulf Sounds

Sustained! 7 steps for transitioning leadership in a student organization

By Julia Haslanger

exec board, fall 2010
Sustain Mizzou's exec board for fall 2010, from left to right: Maggie Holleman, Grace Rathert, Rachel Brunner, Monica Everett and Kelly Gehringer

This evening, a new Sustain Mizzou executive board will meet for the first time.  Now in its seventh year, our organization has learned a few things about leadership development.

The trick to sustaining a student movement is developing a system to support and transition that energy.  Here are seven steps for identifying and cultivating leadership, outlined in Julia Haslanger’s forthcoming book about Sustain Mizzou, Sustained!

1. Watch for people that give extra effort, show up consistently or show leadership characteristics. If they’re invested, they’re probably willing to step up.

2. Involve — Bring them into a small role of leadership by involving them in a project or try to involve them in the process of running a meeting. Give them an opportunity to work with and watch other leaders.

3. Talk to them about their interests. What do they hope to get out of the group?

4. As elections approach, explain how becoming an official leader is both in their self-interest (professional development) and fun.

5. Ask what larger leadership responsibilities or positions they are considering, and/or suggest a few that they would be a good fit for. Explain how the leadership transition process works.

6. Be patient, but persistent in encouraging them to take on more of a leadership role. Address any concerns they have about time commitments, conflicts, etc. Demystify the job.

7. Once they take on a leadership position, train them in how to recognize new potential leaders and transition them into and yourself out of power.

Winter food finds at the Columbia Farmers Market

By Tina Casagrand

Fall never seems to last very long in mid-Missouri.  Good apples ripen and fall, the Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival whizzes by in a weekend, the last tomatoes drop off the vine, and jack-o-lantern smiles melt into dirt.

Winter’s here.  The veggie stock’s down.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a fresh, fruitful bounty from local producers.  It just means you have to do things differently.  Here are five things we learned from Columbia farmers at the last outdoor market of the season:

Hens slow down as the days get shorter

Stanton Brothers Eggs
Don't worry, these beauties will stick around

The Stanton Brothers don’t use synthetic lighting for their hens.  “We keep enough lights on to keep the varmints away, and enough for them to see their feed,” says Andrew Stanton.  Otherwise, they let their little ladies slow down with the season (unlike industrial hen houses which have no windows, keep bright lights on year-round, and click from instant light to instant darkness on timers).

And because it’s so cold, the Stantons have to gather eggs every couple of hours or else they’ll freeze and break.  While this means slower production, it doesn’t mean you can’t still find delicious Stanton Brothers eggs at the winter farmers market, Clovers and HyVee in Columbia at the same price you get them in the summer.

Continue reading Winter food finds at the Columbia Farmers Market

Gulf Sounds Success

By Lauren Looney

Here are some highlights from the Gulf Sounds benefit concert for oil spill relief. It was amazing, y’all should have been there. (Y’ALL? I’m from Missouri…). Ahem, anyway- Davis Dunavin, Kyle McDonald, The High Street Nephews and The Nacho Brothers all played a great show at the Blue Fugue.  There were Neutral Milk hotel covers, a crazy brass band- all the ingredients for a great night. Shout-out to Sustain Mizzou and Tiger Credit Union who made it possible.

Ups and Downs After Midterms for Environmentalists

note: Sustain Mizzou is a non-partisan 501 (c) 3 non-profit. We do not endorse any political party, candidates, or policy. Opinions of Footprint writers do not necessarily reflect those of Sustain Mizzou.


By Paul Rolfe

Environmental advocates may be feeling a paler shade of green after the mid-term elections.  There were some big wins — and some big losses. Tree huggers are celebrating the failure of Prop 23 in California — keeping the state’s climate change law and renewable energy requirements intact — but CNBC reports that things aren’t so bright on the federal level.

“One other thing with the GOP takeover in the House, it is unlikely there will be any sort of greenhouse gas / carbon cap and trade coming at a federal level. If we look in California, this is why so many green advocates and analysts have been looking at Prop 23.”

Business Green says climate change will slip further down the agenda, with the budget deficit and healthcare reforms expected to become the main focus for Republican in Congress. Grist’s Christopher Mims put it most comically when he said:

“If you’re a person in favor of action on climate and clean energy — in other words, a climate hawk — you’d be forgiven for thinking that now is a good time to pop a Glock in your mouth and make a brain slushy.” Continue reading Ups and Downs After Midterms for Environmentalists

Oil Spill reading resources

In honor of this week’s Gulf Sounds concert to benefit victims of this summer’s oil spill, Reading Group is examining aspects of the issue by bringing in our favorite articles, videos, maps and other multimedia.  Other websites have archived resources much better than we ever could, so we’ll leave it to them:Pelican painting

The Reading and Media Group meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. in the second floor lounge of Memorial Union. This week we’ll eat fancy cookies with chocolate centers. New readers are always welcome.