How Schools Can Tell Stories Through Sustainability

Last year we took at look at three schools across the country to see how they approached sustainability. We found that since 2008, studies show that sustainability continues to play a role when students are deciding what college or university to attend.

More and more colleges and universities are not only adding sustainability initiatives to their offerings, but they are making sure that the stories behind them are behind them is being heard loud and clearly!

Take a look at the following four schools to learn how they have used upcycled products to bring attention to their school and sustainability programs.

We’ve got spirit, yes we do!

These are schools that have stories to tell and they are using eco-friendly products to do it.

1. University of Chicago

Middle image credit: @uchicagoime


At the University of Chicago,they are seeking to place clear parameters and identify measurable results around what it means to be truly sustainable.

Their Office of Sustainability, within Facilities Services, is currently focused on five areas that include: Climate Change and Energy, High Performance Buildings, Waste Reduction, Water Conservation, and Building Awareness and Partnerships. Learn more by downloading the University of Chicago’s Sustainability Plan .

STORY: The legacy lives on! The University of Chicago celebrated their 125th anniversary and to commemorate the event, they upcycled street pole banners into usable products.

2. Missouri State University

Photo: CSA pick-up using Relan tote bags.

PURPOSE: Missouri State University is committed to environmental sustainability and stewardship. They strive to work for a better tomorrow through the application of Earth-friendly technology and practices, research projects, and responsible development planning.

STORY: MSU Campus Garden, a student managed sustainability project, upcyled banners to use for their on-campus community supported agriculture program (CSA). Pictured above was the first day that members could pick up their produce.

3. Creighton University

creighton university repurposed bags

Creighton University seeks to implement and model environmentally responsible practices that contribute to social justice.

STORY: The university upcycled banners to let others know about the school’s wide array of sustainability efforts as well as the Skutt Student Center, the on campus dining center. Download their brochure to learn more about the university and what they have to offer.

4. Harper College


Harper College strives to ensure a sustainable, healthy community for future generations of students and is committed to reducing environmental impact across campus.

Through campus up-grades, student coursework, community outreach and individual action, Harper is striving towards carbon neutrality to ensure a healthy, sustainable future at Harper and beyond.

STORY: Relan recently upcycled a window blind, that had been taken down at the college, into beach totes. The college is using the totes to promote their sustainability programs on campus by giving them to students and employees through their various sustainability programming but reserved some of the tote bags to hand out this upcoming fall semester.

Relan Wrap-Up

Telling stories by leaving your brand’s impression is powerful thing, especially when you communicate the message of sustainability. It demonstrates to your fans that your team has taken the initiative to make products that are important to them. And that’s a feeling that everyone wants.

Relan can help your organization build relationships that show you care about the planet and your fan base. Reach out to us by sending us an email to let us know you’re interested and we’ll take it from there. It really is that easy!

Kari Brizius is President of Relan and is a West Point Graduate, certified personal trainer, a US Army Veteran, and a wholehearted entrepreneur. Kari’s passion for the environment, the planet, and healthy living fuels her entrepreneurial spirit. Her mission is to provide thought leadership on sustainability initiatives surrounding healthy living, the environment, and sustainability messaging.

Get more ideas for your organization about the benefits of using upcycled marketing products by subscribing to the Relan Blog!

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