'Promise to the Planet' Campaign Launched to Inspire Collective Action

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May 29, 2024
Herky holding a promise sign



The University of Iowa’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment, in collaboration with The LENA Project, is excited to announce the launch of Promise to the Planet, a campaign that aims to inspire collective action towards a more sustainable, cleaner, safer, and healthier community.

Promise to the Planet encourages community members to make specific promises to reduce their environmental impact. "Sometimes, it may feel like the small things we do don't really make a big difference,” said Beth MacKenzie, from the UI Office of Sustainability.   “I’m just one person, so how can I change the world?  But, we've seen that when lots of people do little things, they can add up to big change. That's the heart of this campaign. We're aiming to collect promises from individuals, businesses, and organizations across our community and showcase the collective impact individual promises can make when we’re all in it together.”

Making a promise is easy, according to MacKenzie.  “Think of an action you can take to improve our community and the planet, then make a promise to practice that action in your daily life.  It can be something as simple as picking up litter when you go for a walk.  Or, maybe you have a really old air conditioner that you’re going to replace soon, so you might make a promise to replace it with a heat pump.”  The campaign has even more ideas available on its website in case you need a little help deciding on what your promise will be.

Making a promise to yourself is great, but MacKenzie encourages people to add their promises to the Promise to the Planet registry by filling out the form on their website.  “Adding your promise to the registry helps us see the collective change happening in the community.  And, writing down your promise in a public forum tends to give people a little more motivation to keep their promise.”  MacKenzie says promises submitted to the registry will be shared on the Promise to the Planet website so the community can see what commitments others have made.  To keep things confidential, only first names or initials associated with the person who made the promise will be shared on the website.

Once someone makes a promise, they can pick up a promise pin from local establishments to remind themselves of their commitment.  Current locations include the UI Office of Sustainability and the Environment (Room #3, Jessup Hall).  More locations are expected to be added soon.

Organizers are also encouraging businesses and community organizations to get involved by making promises on behalf of their organization, spreading awareness about the project, becoming a sponsor, or motivating individuals to keep their promises by offering special incentives and discounts exclusively to those who proudly wear their promise pin. 

Promises will be showcased at a public event at the Englert Theater on September 15, 2024. This event will feature performances and displays by commissioned artists responding to Prompt for the Planet and promises added to the registry will be featured to demonstrate how small actions by many can lead to significant change.  All promise-makers are cordially invited to attend.

Make Your Promise

Learn More

For more information, visit Promise to the Planet, follow Prompt for the Planet on Facebook and Instagram, and share your promise on social media using #PromiseToThePlanet to inspire others to join the movement.