Sustain Our State: Gameday and Everyday
Sept. 12, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. -
What goes better with red than green?
For years, NC State athletics has led the way in turning the waste generated at its biggest events into valuable commodities through voluntary recycling.
On Sept. 15 during the home-opener against South Alabama, athletics is partnering to present “Sustain Our State: Gameday and Everyday,” an effort to educate and showcase the many ways fans can run with the Pack and transform NC State football from literal red to figurative green.
Over the last decade, Wolfpack fans have been well trained to recycle their glass, plastic and aluminum cans and bottles from their weekly tailgate parties in the blue bags handed out by Wolfpack In The House [WITH] and WE Recycle volunteers prior to football games and to make use of the collection bins around the stadium.
Since it began in 2003, the WE Recycle program has saved nearly 200 tons of materials from area landfills. An average football season generates about 20 tons of recyclable materials, which in 2011 was enough to line the field in Carter-Finley more than 1,000 times.
For the home opener, NC State fans can participate in a new initiative that will have long-lasting effects on the environment and on game-day practices and procedures.
The day will start with a green tailgate demonstration in Fan Zone, with activities, prizes and educational information on how to be more sustainable on game day from plug-in electric vehicles and alternative transportation methods to sustainable food and zero-waste tailgating.
There will be informational slides and videos throughout the game that will give more information about recycling, energy, alternative transportation and more. For example, the stadium cups are recyclable this year and there are also new recycling bins in the Fair Grounds parking lots. And the Red Terror bus is available as alternative transportation from campus to the games for students.
After the game, through the long-established WE Recycle program, the stadium cleaning crew will scour the stadium for recyclables and compostable materials. The collected material will be recorded and entered into the Game Day Challenge, which pits major college football programs and their recycling programs against each other in a nationwide recycling contest.
Finally, representatives from the planning group will monitor sustainability efforts throughout the season to identify opportunities for implementing permanent measures to reduce waste, save energy, purchase sustainable products, improve transportation and educate the public on how to make a big difference by making small changes in their game-day activities.
Over the last five years, athletics has participated in multiple sustainability initiatives, including replacing inefficient fluorescent bulbs in all facilities, implementing water conservation strategies, closely monitoring fuel consumption and upgrading the efficiency of heating and cooling during facility improvements.
As a university, NC State is committed to sustainability. The chancellor approved a Sustainability Strategic Plan for NC State in 2011 which includes five-year goals for advancing and creating a culture of sustainability across the university.
For the last two years, a working group of representatives from athletics facilities and marketing has worked with partners in the Sustainability Office, Waste Reduction and Recycling, Energy Management, Transportation and the department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management to find ways to green various athletics events, beginning with a women’s basketball game against North Carolina on Feb. 21, 2011.
During that game, volunteers maintained waste stations that collected recycling and compostable items generated during the contest. Students received T-shirts made of 100 percent recycled material and volunteers worked with waste crews to collect any remaining recyclable items.
Since then, other events involving baseball and men’s basketball games have participated in green activities.
For more information about athletics’ sustainability efforts, visit: gopack.com/sustainourstate.