The Iowa Hawk Shop instituted the Ditch the Bag initiative in the fall of 2017, in partnership with the University of Iowa Student Government (UISG). The program aims to limit the usage of the iconic, yellow Iowa Hawk Shop plastic bag. UISG developed the idea and pitched it to the staff of the Iowa Hawk Shop in the spring of 2017.
The purpose of the program is two-fold: customers who ditch the bag help keep bags out of the landfill and at support student organizations and campus activities. When a shopper at the Iowa Hawk Shop decides not to take a bag, they receive a wooden token, worth $.05, to deposit in the bin of their choice, supporting a particular cause.
This year, 7,937 bags were kept out of the landfill as a result of the program.
Causes who benefitted this year include Net Impact, the UISG Green Initiative Fund, University of Iowa Gardeners, and the UI Environmental Coalition. Nearly $500 has donated to these environmentally conscious student organizations.
Donations from the Ditch the Bag program
Net Impact – 1,479 wooden tokens - $73.95
Net Impact empowers young people to drive social and environmental change throughout the Hawkeye community. Net Impact wants to inspire others to use the power of business to create a more sustainable world. Net Impact provides the fuel for you to use business as a force for environmental and social impact on campus.
Green Initiative Fund – 2,300 wooden tokens - $115.00
The Green Initiative Fund, or GIF, is a grant offered through UISG & GPSG for student organizations that have projects on their agenda that overall promote sustainable or green practices and outcomes.
University of Iowa Gardeners – 1,920 wooden tokens – $96.00
Formed in Spring 2009, the 1/3-acre the University of Iowa Student Garden provides an educational model that addresses environmental, social, cultural, and economical issues that affect our contemporary food system.
UI Environmental Coalition – 2,238 wooden tokens - $119.90
UIEC is a student organization composed of diverse young minds working together to reduce energy use, waste, pollution, and environmental negligence on campus and in our community. UIEC members care deeply about the natural world and believe that humans are not separate from our environment, but rather an integral part of our surroundings. UIEC believes that open and inclusive dialogue is the key to finding solutions to current problems that threaten our community's environmental, economic, and social sustainability. UIEC's goal is to foster relationships within the University and build leadership among all members to better implement these positive solutions and have a long-term effect in our community.
The Hawk Shop looks forward to continuing this program into the future in partnership with UISG and their customers.