Annual Events & Conferences
In addition to its own iSEE Congress and Critical Conversations forums, the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment helps sponsor and promote other annual conferences and events that bring sustainability, energy, and environmental issues to the forefront. Click below to expand details on upcoming events; for day-to-day schedules, visit the Illinois Sustainability Calendar.
Earth Month - April
Each year, we celebrate Earth Month as an extension of Earth Day, April 22. This is a time to enact change and inspire consciousness about how our decisions affect the campus environment and the Earth we share. Whether you’re already a passionate environmentalist or just looking to have some April fun, it’s all about showing the Earth some serious love!
iSEE coordinates with Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) as well as academic and campus units to offer climate-related public lectures and campus sustainability events.
Earth Month 2021 highlights are listed below. We invite you to participate in any of the following opportunities (or celebrate in your own way!) to get “Caught Green-Handed!” Click here to submit the Google Form and let us know how you’re celebrating the Earth.
- iSEE Congress Spring 2021: “The Future of Water”
Virtual noon-hour lectures | April 6, 14, 20, and 23
- Community Trash Pickup at Boneyard Creek (sponsored by iSEE and F&S)
3-5 p.m. | April 7 | Watch a video of the day’s action! >>>
- “Sustainability Rocks” on the Main Quad
11 a.m.-5 p.m. | April 8 | Watch a video of the event! >>>
- Virtual Careers in Sustainability Panel Discussion
Noon-1 p.m. | April 9
- The annual Charles David Keeling Lecture
4 p.m. | April 19
- Environmental Quad Day: Celebrate Earth Day on the Main Quad!
Stop by iSEE’s table from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on April 22
- iSEE TED Talk: Eco-Edition — Earth Month and Environmental Activism
View a preview video! >>>
7-8 p.m. | April 29 | Registration is required; please sign up >>>
- Champaign County Sustainability Network (CCNet) Arbor Day Celebration
View a preview video of iSEE’s iCAP tree planting earlier in the week! >>>
Noon | April 30
For a full list of activities and student-sponsored events, click here to visit our calendar!
Sustainability Month - October
Sustainability Month 2020
A look at what happened on campus:
- Campus Sustainability Celebration and iCAP 2020 Unveiling: iSEE, Facilities & Services, and campus officials hosted a celebration of campus sustainability progress during the past year at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign — and a look ahead to our future plans. This includes Illinois Climate Action Plan 2020, which was unveiled and accompanied by remarks from Chancellor Robert J. Jones. View the YouTube video >>>
- iSEE’s October Waste Challenge: 100 campus community members participated in attempts to reduce their waste and make better purchasing decisions. Read the details here >>>
- Certified Green Programs: iSEE, which made some revamps to its Certified Green Office Program, also released a sustainability guide for certifying a sorority or fraternity as sustainable with its Certified Green Chapter Program Learn more here >>>
- Campus Sustainability Training: In partnership with the University of Illinois Ethics and Compliance Office and Video Services at Public Affairs, iSEE has launched a new sustainability training video. The training provides information about the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) 2020 as well as opportunities for the campus community to adopt zero-waste practices. More than 900 students, staff, faculty members, and local residents participated. All are still invited to watch the training and provide feedback!
Past Sustainability Month Events
Highlights from Sustainability Week 2019
In 2019, Sustainability Week was highlighted by the Campus Sustainability Celebration, in which the campus celebrated past accomplishments and kicked off the planning for the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) 2020 in earnest! Other events: tours of the Campus Recycling Center, the net-zero ReHome, and the Solar Farm; a “plarning” event to reuse plastic bags; a Quad tree walk; a celebration of the centennial birthday of the Red Oak Rain Garden trees; a film and panel discussion; dinner at the Sustainable Student Farm, and Illini Lights Out — iSEE’s monthly chance for students to turn off lights and reduce the energy consumption and environmental impact of our campus!
Highlights from Sustainability Week 2018
To kick off Campus Sustainability Week 2018, students were invited to participate in a new event called “Plogging” — picking up plastic while you jog. Attended by more than 30 people, the event was part fitness, part environmental action, part community service — and definitely ALL FUN. Students took a bag along on a walk or run to collect trash and recyclables along the path. In addition to other student- and department-led events, the week featured a tour of Abbott Power Plant, the annual Campus Sustainability Celebration (attended by more than 100 people). It concluded with an Illini Lights Out event in which students turned off lights in buildings around the Main Quad while in Halloween garb.
Highlights from Sustainability Week 2017
For Campus Sustainability Week 2017, we invited students, staff, and faculty to brainstorm one (or more!) habit they could begin to take a “Next Step” in their personal sustainability. We received more than 700 pledged actions. It’s not too late: You can still take a next step for the environment today >>>
At the Illini Lights Out event Oct. 20, more than 50 student volunteers turned off 4,972 light bulbs to save energy in campus buildings all weekend long. During the following week, we took a tour of a biomass boiler facility at the Illinois Energy Farm, “jumped for our lunch” at the Shell Synergy Truck, and watched “An Inconvenient Sequel,” taking a behind-the-scenes look at former Vice President Al Gore’s latest efforts to fuel a renewable energy revolution. (Thanks to the Student Sustainability Committee for bring the film to campus!)
iSEE hosted the second annual Campus Sustainability Celebration on Oct. 25 at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. More than 100 students, staff, and faculty gathered to learn more about campus efforts toward sustainability and the grassroots organizations and clubs supporting them. Facilities and Services awarded nearly $170,000 to 2017 ECIP winners.
Highlights from Sustainability Week 2016
Sustainability Week 2016 was Oct. 24-28 and featured “BIN IT,” a campaign to encourage campus recycling. It won’t take a minute, just bin it!
Highlights of the week included the first annual Campus Sustainability Celebration on October 26, 2017 at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center ballroom and a recycling contest for students, staff, and faculty to compete for prizes by recycling the most items. The “BIN IT” campaign website offered specifics on campus recycling procedure, and educational resources and cheat sheets for easier recycling on campus and at home. The campaign also featured videos of several familiar campus faces recycling. Check out the iSEE YouTube channel to watch them >>>