Dance Marathon goes green

Dance Marathon kicks off a three-year plan for greater for sustainability.


The Daily Iowan; Photo by Lily Smith

Waste bins are seen during Dance Marathon 24 in the IMU on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

On a campus going greener, Dance Marathon is not forgetting about sustainability.

This year, Dance Marathon takes its first step in a three-year plan to make the event more sustainable as well as other events around it. To do so, Dance Marathon has cut down on paper usage and chose a more sustainable company to make more than 4,000 T-shirts.

Another facet of this sustainability initiative is going carbon neutral with the help of facilities management, as well as planting enough trees to offset the amount of carbon usage in the Big Event.

Charlie Dean, a member of the Dance Marathon staff, said that she was really impressed with the group effort of the initiative seen in administration all the way down to the dancers.

“It’s not just one committee doing it,” Dean said. “It’s everyone that’s a part of it and that really wants to work towards making Dance Marathon a leader on campus for sustainability.”

Dance Marathon’s Sustainability Chair David Strabala talked about more facets of the event’s sustainability. Dance Marathon has also been using eco-friendly water bottles for dancers to replace the use of disposable plastic cups and also featured an eco-friendly family breakfast.

Strabala discussed the importance of forming cross-campus partnerships with different organizations working toward a common goal. Dean said it goes to show that one doesn’t need to be an expert to work for sustainability with all the resources and partnerships available.

“The biggest thing is we’ve formed a really good partnership with the Office of Sustainability,” Strabala said.

Anna Turnquist, another Dance Marathon staff member and participant of four years, is passionate about addressing environmental issues.

“We’re not just caring for kids, we’re also caring for the environment and our future, talking about our generation of today dancing with our generation of tomorrow,” Turnquist said. “It would be kind of hypocritical if we aren’t taking care of the environment that our next generation is going to be moving in.


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