A passionate advocate for sustainable living, Olivia Ranseen is a junior at Indiana University Bloomington studying Environmental Management in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs with minors in Spanish and Portuguese.
Olivia engaged in a research study of the waste-stream of theatrical performances though the IU Office of Sustainability 2020 Research Scholars program. With her mentor, Paul Brunner, Olivia implemented policies to produce zero-waste theatre performances of The Duchess of Malfi in spring 2017.
Olivia trained a team of undergraduates to implement sustainability practices in campus residences and as Chief of Sustainability for the Indiana University Student Association-the student governance body-she laid the groundwork for a Green Revolving Fund to reinvest cost savings from sustainable practices into new campus sustainability infrastructure.
Olivia was an Indiana Sustainability Development Program Extern on the City of Bloomington, Indiana, Food Policy Council last summer. She researched sustainable food policies and wrote policy briefs to foster relationships between the local food growers and the Bloomington community's restaurants and large institutional and educational entities.
In the fall of 2017, Olivia received the IU Student Leadership Campus Catalyst Award for her many meaningful contributions to sustainability efforts on campus and in the broader community.
As a junior in high school, I discovered my passion for sustainability in Mrs. Crombie's Environmental Science class and soon thereafter founded my high school's Eco Club. We spent our weekends pulling invasive plants at the nearby city park and sowing seeds for a community garden.
While my approach to sustainability has taken many forms since then, my dedication has never wavered. At the start of my freshman year, the 2020 Sustainability Scholars Program paired me with a faculty member in the IU Theatre Department, Paul Brunner. Over the course of two years, we researched and implemented waste reduction solutions for theatre including wood alternatives and green stage management.
I believe that policy (at any level) can help encourage innovative solutions, like ours, to sustainability issues, and therefore, I took an active role in student government and served as the IU Student Association's Chief of Sustainability last semester. I'm also an advocate for food justice and sustainable agriculture within the greater Bloomington community. I'm working with City to help implement a local food procurement project. In addition, as a commissioner on the City's Commission on Sustainability, I focus on creating flexible urban agriculture policy for city code.