Traditional cans have been replaced by recycle and compost bins by University of Colorado's athletic department.
The Colorado Buffaloes are the first major collegiate or professional sports program in the nation to tackle a zero-waste challenge, according to CU Athletic Director Mike Bohn.
During the games, volunteers are stationed at all of the recycling stations to help people sort out the new zero-waste policy.
Most foods and drinks sold at concessions are packaged in recyclable or compostable containers through a contract with Boulder-based Eco-Products Inc. They make sugarcane plates and corn cutlery that biodegrade.
All the cups, trays and leftover food is either recycled or composted through Ralphie's Green Stampede, the CU Athletic Department's initiative to green up their act.
Half time at CU's Folsom Field. Sept. 16, 2007 (Photo credit unknown)
Biodegradable bags are used to collect leftover food for compost, which is then turned into soil for the universityís landscaping projects.
This diverts nearly 10 tons of waste created at every game that would be headed to the landfill in nearby Broomfield.
Molly Brown, volunteer coordinator for CUís Environmental Center said, "we reached our goal of 90 percent waste recycled at the Texas game," played on October 4.
Fans that come to the game on bicycles get free valet parking for their bikes. This further reduces the carbon footprint of the game and encourages people to leave their cars at home.
Sponsor of the Green Stampede is White Wave Foods, which will help offset electricity used during the games with Green-e Climate Certified Renewable Energy Certificates.
These actions save enough energy to meet the needs of four average households over the span of a year, estimates the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
CU is a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment that commits the campus to a plan and date for carbon neutrality campuswide.
CU-Boulder Chancellor Bud Peterson is a member of the ACUPCC Steering Committee and active on a national level to recruit other campuses to climate action commitments.
CU is supportive of Gov. Ritter's climate action plan that targets a 20 percent reduction by 2020 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050 in carbon emissions.
The emissions reductions by CU Athletics are another step along CU-Boulder's path toward carbon neutrality.
Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2008. All rights reserved.