Going garnet and green on gameday

Let’s face it, college football gamedays were not fashioned with sustainability in mind: 80,000 people sitting in cars in traffic (both ways), parking on paved-over green spaces, eating and drinking out of one-time use containers, overflowing trash bins.  

But, each one of us could help reduce that negative impact if we simply apply our everyday environmental mindfulness to our gameday behavior, says Larry Cook, director of the university’s Office of Sustainability.  

“I believe implementing sustainable behavior on gamedays starts with awareness of your potential areas of impact, for example: transportation and food.” Cook says. “Can you carpool, walk or use public transportation to get there and back? Can you use reusable or recyclable items?” 

Here are a few student gameday tips from the Office of Sustainability:  

  • First and foremost, don’t litter. If you can’t find a recycling bin for bottles and cans, at least find a trash can.  
  • Think before you buy and get only what you need. Food items cannot be taken into the stadium and may not be safe to eat after hours in the heat.  
  • Instead of single-use items like plastic cups and utensils, consider more sustainable alternatives like recyclable aluminum cups and cans and compostable dishware and silverware.  
  • Walk or take a shuttle to the game to save yourself the headache and expense of driving and finding a park. 
  • If you see one of your peers exhibiting sustainable behavior, give them a shoutout of encouragement. Every little bit helps.  

“The first step to making sustainability routine is to take a moment to consider how you use resources and come up with a plan for reducing that impact,” Cook says. “Once you increase your awareness of your impacts in one area, it may be that you start searching for more and more ways to live more sustainably.” 

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