Ayodeji Oluwalana

Ayodeji holds a master’s degree in Environmental Management with emphasis on Sustainable and Resilient Communities from Western Colorado University, Gunnison Colorado. Ayodeji is a passionate upcycler, environmentalist and climate change advocate based in Iowa where he leads Iowa State University’s Recycling/Zero Waste program efforts as a Sustainability Specialist. He enjoys working with students on several hands-on sustainability projects and his areas of interests lies in working on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - Goal 6- Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, Goal 9- Innovative New Ways to Repurpose Old Materials, Goal 11- Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 12- Responsible Consumption and Reduction, Goal 13- Climate Action and Goal 14- Life Below Water. He was trained as a Climate Reality Leader in March 2019 by the Climate Reality Project- a project created by former Vice President of US, Al Gore with the mandate of educating people and vulnerable communities about the urgency and solvability of the climate crisis at grassroots level worldwide. Ayodeji has over five years wealth of experience and leadership in sustainable materials management which he has used to help struggling community with materials management infrastructure limitations in Colorado, USA to promote the SDG goal 9 through the development of a program that involved designing and implementing a project using discarded plastic bottles to build greenhouses for local farmers struggling with the impacts of climatic conditions. This also involved the design of a “step by step manual” detailing the process that can be adopted by other communities facing similar issues around the world. This project addressed the three core pillars of sustainability- economic, social and environment. This body of work have been presented to various audiences at several sustainability conferences. Ayodeji was part of Iowa Department of Natural Resources Vision for Iowa “Think Tank” group to create a “sustainable materials management vision for the State of Iowa as a statewide guide for future materials management related issues.” He also contributed to the final report of the Sustainable Materials Management Policy Strategic Vision for Iowa. Ayodeji previously worked as the sustainability coordinator at Western Colorado University and he was in charge of waste management on campus where he was involved in setting up the zero-waste program, with the goal of making the university a zero-waste campus by the year 2020. This effort helped the University lowered its carbon footprint. He is currently on the Board of Directors for Iowa Recycling Association