All posts by Kelly Gehringer

REBOOT Encourages Community Involvement

Have you seen these mysterious R’s floating around campus? It’s week three of REBOOT, a 10-week long community scavenger hunt that challenges members of the Mizzou community to get out and explore the spaces around them. Teams participate in weekly missions involving sustainability and rack up points to win prizes in the process. However, the biggest challenge is to have fun!

Each week, teams receive a transmission from Ava, a researcher from the future who wants to change the future’s past. Spooky right? In week one, teams learned more about the power to reuse by going on missions to places like the MU surplus property and Craft Studio. REBOOTers discovered more about the recycling process throughout week by taking on a whole new set of challenges. This week’s theme is re-engage, aiming to connect teams with social justice issues in the community. It isn’t too late to sign up, so grab some friends and make a team here!

Check out teams that participated in the recycle audit on Lowry Mall last week!

Who, me?

This week’s Who, me? challenge is to make something for someone.

Every day we have two choices: the sustainable way or…the other way. It’s easy to want to help the planet, but tricky part is the who, me? question (followed by the inevitable yes, you! response).  

We all want to show the ones we love just how much we love them this week, so why not make something for them? This morning I made a special batch of granola for my family. Why was it special? Because it screamed THANKS. So if you want to give thanks in the form of granola this holiday….don’t think twice about it. All the ingredients can be found in bulk bins at the grocery store too, so don’t forget your reusable bags!


1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup sunflower/pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup raisins/blueberries
2 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Mix the oats, almonds, sunflower/pumpkin seeds, coconut and half of the brown sugar
2. Mix vegetable oil, honey, the other half of brown sugar and water on the stove until boiling
3. Mix boiling and dry mixture
4. Place on baking sheet then sprinkle honey and salt on top
5. Set the oven to 300 degrees
6. Check every 15 minutes until it has just the right crisp!

Spooky Songs for your Halloween Weekend

Halloween is arguably the best day ever. It’s the one time of the year that it’s socially acceptable to eat candy non-stop, dress up like a freak and scare the socks off everyone around you. It’s also a time to dance. Here are some of my spooky song recommendations for the weekend.

  • Miss Aretha Franklin’s “Spirit in the Dark” will make your hair stand straight up.
  • Listen to Kanye’s “Monster” and get in touch with your inner villain. Tapping into your inner Nicki Minaj will help.

  • Afraid of spiders? The Black Lips remember the notorious spider that bit Peter Parker in “Spidey’s Curse.” Watch out!
  • Bruce Springsteen’s “Spirit in the Night” made me believe in ghosts…
  • Watching this video is 100% necessary for you to understand what this weekend is really about. Everyday is Halloween for Rick James.

Who, me?

Every day we have two choices: the sustainable way or…the other way. It’s easy to want to help the planet, but tricky part is the who, me? question (followed by the inevitable yes, you! response). I’m convinced that if everyone started asking themselves who, me? a little more, our world would be a lot different. So every week I’m going to challenge you to start wondering more about the world around you and how you (yes, you!) can change it with small gestures. All it takes is some old-fashioned initiative, creativity and sometimes a little bit of spunk.

Don’t be a wasteoid.

Every day we throw things away. My challenge to you this week is to think about trash. Really meditate. Every piece of paper, every wrapper, every plastic bottle – dream about it. Get creative!

It’s a hoot! Everything you need to know about Harvest Hootenanny 2011

It’s a HOOTENANNY!! What’s a Hootenanny? It’s a hoot, in every sense of the word.

Come to the Urban Farm, located at 1209 Smith Street, to celebrate the fall harvest with food, fun and games. The second annual Harvest Hootenanny Fundraiser will be Saturday, October 1, from 4-7 p.m.

Our talented local urban farmers at CCUA are celebrating a successful growing season and want you to be there! Food and drink are free, so come out and come let some skilled grill masters make you Legacy Beef hamburgers, Patchwork Farms Bratwurst, Urban BBQ Chicken, along with grilled Urban Veggies.

Visit the silent auction for local art and sweet prize packages and a live auction will begin at 6pm. While you have your mouth full of delicious local grub, listen to live music! Volunteers will be giving tours and information will be available about the CCUA’s programs. If you haven’t been to any of CCUA’s events, this is the opportunity to come meet your urban farmers! The suggested donation is $5 – $20. For more information about the Harvest Hootenanny, visit or call 573-514-4174.

Also, after the Hootenanny, you can go see the film Farmegeddon at the Citizen Jane Film Festival. Find more information here.

CCUA still need volunteers to help set up and run the event. To sign up for a shift, contact Billy Polansky or 540-226-3806.

Juggling poverty and health: Food Corps, Let’s Move and food deserts

This is an opinion column written by a Sustain Mizzou member.

If you page through American history, our country has a tendency to take notice of pressing issues too little and too late. Humanitarian problems are pushed by the wayside as the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow. The correlation between poverty and poor health in the United States is an ongoing battle that is neglected by both the state and federal government.

The government needs to seek great improvements in the welfare system, in terms of matching problems with solutions. During the Great Depression, FDR’s Great Deal initiated a number of programs to alleviate the country’s shortcomings with federal aid. A lot of these policies have functioned throughout the years to keep Americans’ heads above water, yet still below the poverty line. Continue reading Juggling poverty and health: Food Corps, Let’s Move and food deserts

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


When we think sustainability today, words like recycle, carbon footprint and local food come to mind. Maybe we should think about words like Mod Podge, bandanas and magazines a little more.

Last week, Monica and I launched a project called Sustain-a-Bling. Our dear friend Ben Datema thought of the idea once upon a time when he was a dedicated Sustain Mizzou leader, but was unable to fulfill his goals for the project.
The idea of Sustain-a-Bling is to pick your head up, look around you and use what you have to make art. I personally keep three different art boxes on hand at all times so I have a variety of choices. The beauty is that hoarding becomes a good thing; the more you have to choose from, the more intricate the art project can be.
For instance, one of our creative sustainers, Henry, constructed a little dog out of floppy disks, glue and pipe cleaners and buttons. It is now sitting at the Sustain Mizzou desk and waiting to be named as our mascot.
It was simple, really. I spread my art boxes out on the tables and people immediately started rummaging through things to create masterpieces. Sustainers made coasters out of coiled magazines, birthday cards out of cardboard, bracelets and everything in between.
The truth is almost anything is reusable and it’s up to us to make it into art. Think about it!
Watch the trailer of Faythe Levine’s Handmade Nation to get a better understanding of the greater indie craft movement in America.
I also made an audio slideshow for the Missourian, focusing on local Columbia artists such as Cory McCarter. Get inspired!