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A Comeback Story: Sustainability Picnic 2022

By September 19, 2022No Comments

by Camille Colter, Office of Sustainability

Photo of two students at the table for The Campus Kitchen

The Campus Kitchen at Auburn University.

This past August, the long-awaited return of the Sustainability Picnic became a reality. Despite postponing the event due to rain, the picnic persevered, and on August 31st, students gathered at the Arboretum for a near zero-waste, food and fun event for the first time since 2019. The Sustainability Picnic aims to get students, predominately freshmen, connected with student groups, opportunities, resources, and initiatives on and around campus related to sustainability. There were so many great tabling groups in attendance:


Photo of students speaking to people at the Academic Sustainability Programs table

Academic Sustainability Programs.

Student Groups

  • Campus Kitchens Project
  • Engineers Without Borders
  • Environmental Design Student Organization
  • For the Bees
  • Marine Biology Club
  • Outdoor Adventure Club
  • Plant-Based Plainsman
  • SGA (Student Government Association)
  • Society of Natural Resources
  • Students for Clean Water
    Student smiling at the table for Auburn Rec and Wellness

    Auburn Rec & Wellness

  • Sustainable Biomaterials and Packaging Society
  • Universities Fighting World Hunger

Academic Opportunities

  • Academic Sustainability Programs
  • College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment
  • Community Planning Program – Masters
  • Office of Global Education


  • AU Rec and Wellness
  • Auburn Cares
    Students visiting the Auburn Bee Lab tent

    AU Bee Lab.

  • Health Promotion and Wellness Services
  • Office of Sustainability
  • Waste Reduction & Recycling Department


  • AU Aquaponics
  • AU NSF Research Traineeship
  • AU Vertical Farms
  • Auburn Bee Lab
    Photo of an Auburn Bicycle Committee Representative posing for the camera

    Auburn Bicycle Committee.


  • Auburn Bicycle Committee
  • Citizens Climate Lobby
  • Energy Alabama
  • League of Women Voters of East Alabama


  • Donald E. Davis Arboretum
  • Kreher Preserve and Nature Center
  • Mindfulness Meditation in the Arboretum
    Photo of a student touching a snake

    Kreher Ecological Preserve

Students were encouraged to engage with the tablers by playing bingo and marking off each table’s secret word. Prizes for bingo winners were graciously donated by:

  • Auburn Art
  • Auburn Oil Company Booksellers
  • Auburn Natural History Museum
  • BurgerFi
  • James Brothers Bikes
  • Office of Sustainability
  • Ross House
  • Taco Mama
  • The Bean
  • Tiger Dining
  • Tropical Smoothie Café
  • Waste Reduction and Recycling Department
Photo of Ian Malinowski singing and playing the guitar

Ian Malinowski performing for the attendees.

We also had an amazing acoustic guitar performance by Ian Malinowski,  a sophomore in Auburn University’s brand-new Commercial Music Program. Despite technical difficulties on stage, Ian delivered a relaxing musical table-to-table stroll through the picnic.

All food provided was vegetarian & dairy-free and most was locally sourced. Tiger Dining prepared and served the food. Cups, plates, and utensils were all reusable and the plates used were actually frisbees given to the Office of Sustainability by Coca-Cola. Around 200 cups, plates, and silverware were used, and of those, 38 cups, 65 plates, and 22 utensils were returned and washed while the rest were kept by attendees. We collected everything that couldn’t be reused, recycled, or composted, and the produced net waste weighed less than a pound!

People being served food in a buffet style line.

Attendees grabbing some food.

Join us again for next year’s Sustainability Picnic to kick off Fall Semester 2023! The expected time will be a Wednesday in the evening, but the specific date is TBD. To stay updated on all our events, join our newsletter and follow us on Instagram! If you would like to learn more about sustainability at Auburn, hosting more sustainable events, or collaborate with the office, reach out to us! To see more awesome photos from the event, check out our Google Photos folder.

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