By Mark Baldwin
As a huge University of Maryland football fan, I can proudly tell folks that Maryland played host to Queen Elizabeth and was the first school in their conference to racially integrate their football team (see Darryl Hill). I can also proudly tell you that the University of Maryland participated in EPA’s Game Day Challenge last year! So I will assume that you are asking yourself a couple of questions after reading my very odd trash-talking, such as, “what is EPA’s Game Day Challenge?” and “why are you proud that the Queen of England attended a Maryland football game?” Great questions!
EPA’s Game Day Challenge (now in its 3rd year) is a green competition open to universities and colleges across the US. Participating schools compete across several categories that measure their waste reduction during a home football game. As fans cheer on their favorite teams, they’ll also be reducing their environmental footprint from the stands. Last year, participants diverted over 500,000 pounds of waste that would have otherwise gone to a landfill. That’s more than the total combined weight of all starting offensive and defensive linemen in the Bowl Championship Series (that’s 120 teams in total).
Now, as far as the significance of having royalty at a Maryland football game… Nothing evokes more terror in the opponent than playing in front of the Queen of England, right?
As we march towards another great year for college football with hopes for a winning season (or at least a good tailgating party), remember that while trash-talking is environmentally friendly, trash from your tailgate…not so much. So before you cheer for Big Blue, March on for the Black and Gold, Hook ‘em Horns or mildly applaud an earnest effort (as I am sure the Queen did), make sure your school signs up for EPA’s Game Day Challenge. Go Green, Go Recycle, and Go Terps!
The competition begins on September 1, 2011 and will run to November 30, 2011. Winners will be announced in December, 2011.
To register for the Game Day Challenge
More information on the Game Day Challenge
About the author: Mark Baldwin is an environmental protection specialist and is in his fourth year working for EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. Mark is a proud graduate from the University of Maryland where he earned a degree in Environmental Science and Policy. Mark is currently attending Johns Hopkins University part-time where he is pursuing his Master’s in Environmental Science.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.