Environmentalism at Grinnell

There are a number of campus environmental organizations, each with a slightly different approach in how they go about addressing issues of environmental responsibility. In addition, numerous campus departments focus on issues of environmental stewardship and serve to provide further opportunities to understand and appreciate our natural world.

Campus Environmental Organizations

Advancing Animal Compassion Together

Advancing Animal Compassion Together (AACT) is dedicated to creating a just, compassionate, and sustainable world for all beings through veganism and ending exploitation of other animals and the earth. AACT hosts educational events such as documentary showings about the environmental and ethical problems of animal agriculture, has worked with the dining hall to incorporate more vegan options at meals, and takes volunteer trips to work directly with rescued farm animals.

Campus Environmental Coordinator

CECs are responsible for campus understanding of environmental practices through waste education (mainly on composting, recycling, and terracycling) as well as educating the student body in being environmentally conscious in daily actions (such as turning out lights when not in use). They serve as a direct liaison between the student body and FM and advise/create our their own environmental projects (such as terracycling and NSO environmental education efforts).

Environmental Housing

Eco House is an intentional living community that tries to minimize their environmental impact through efficient technology, responsible purchasing, and lifestyle choices. Eco house facilitates community outreach and education about sustainable living practices on campus and in town, and the house serves as a test site for energy efficient technologies and practice. Eco House is a housing option to all returning students at Grinnell.

Food For Thought

FFT is a student group working in affiliation with the national Real Food Challenge, organizing students to push for change in college and university dining halls across the country. For the past year and a half, Grinnell's chapter has been meeting with dining services administrators, along with the faculty and staff of the College, to assess ways in which Grinnell can make a commitment to sourcing more "real" food. Under the criteria of the national organization, this is "food that truly nourishes:" it is local, humane, fair, and ecologically sound. The Real Food Calculator is used to gauge what percentage of food purchases qualify as "real" using specific guidelines. Food For Thought student students are working to mobilize support from students, staff, alumni, faculty, and trustees to support Grinnell's commitment to sourcing 20% or more "real" food by 2020. Email foodforthought@grinnell.edu to join the email list or for more information.

Food Recovery Network

The premise of Grinnell College’s chapter of Food Recovery Network (FRN is a national non-profit organization based primary on college/university campuses) is to reduce waste and feed those in need. They live and operate by that mantra as they have collected well over 5,000 lbs. of food from the dining hall - all of which has gone to members of the community in need. They are active with other chapters of Food Recovery Network in order to ensure that they are using the most effective techniques and continuously strive to build partner relationships with other like-minded organizations in Grinnell. They currently provide food for distribution at the First Presbyterian Church of Grinnell and also deliver directly to Galaxy Childcare, Inc. and Station Clubhouse. Guests are always welcome and highly encouraged to come see what they do. They have a volunteer staff of roughly 20, and would always be grateful for more individuals. Contact them at FRN@grinnell.edu for more details.

Grinnell Outdoor Recreation Program

GORP organizes and leads multiple outdoor trips that any student can be involved along with offering equipment rentals throughout the year. The program emphasizes a greater appreciation for the outdoors as well as how to best responsibly enjoy your time while in nature. The GORP room is located in the Harris building and is open Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 4:15-5:45. Email gorp@grinnell.edu with any questions.


Grinnell Iowater is an environmentally-focused student service group. Their mission is to improve water quality and conservation awareness in the Grinnell area and develop a sustainable network of skill-sets, knowledge and passion for the importance of our water resources. Iowater collaborates with Grinnell College and community members through water monitoring and educational efforts. Contact iowater@grinnell.edu to join the emailing list and/or request more information.

Student Government Association's Student Environmental Committee

The main objectives of the SEC are to inform and educate students about the College's environmental policies and practices while serving as a liaison between the student body and the administration. Their overarching goal is to improve and advocate for the long-term environmental sustainability of this campus. They are an inclusive group with rotating members so feel free to come to the meetings at any time! You can contact them at sgasec@grinnell.edu to receive their emails or like the Grinnell College Student Environmental Committee Facebook page for updates.