The Game is ON! Can Your School Beat-out Climate Change?

By Felicia Chou

I couldn’t catch a football even if you handed it to me. But I can chug my energy drink, slather my face with war paint, and root for my team like there is no tomorrow. I can also help my school reign supreme in EPA’s Game Day Challenge, simply by cutting down on the waste that ends up in the trash at the game. From now until September 30, any college or university with a football team across the country can   register to battle it out both on and off the field. All they have to do is come up with an awesome recycling or waste-reducing plan, carry it out at a home football game in October, and keep tabs on the results.

I can see it now: Student organizations and volunteers out in throngs, collecting recyclables and food donations, all in the name of school spirit and environmental Touch Downs. It’ll be like one of those heart-warming, fist-pumping scenes from “Rudy,” except without the underdog, and it involves recycling. With less than half of the aluminum cans in this country getting recycled, and more than 97% of our leftover food going to the landfill, we could all use some environmental wins.

Schools can win in these categories:

  • least amount of waste generated per attendee
  • greatest greenhouse gas reductions
  • highest recycling rate
  • highest organics reduction rate (i.e., food donation and composting)
  • highest combined recycling and composting rate.

Winners will be crowned this November. Not only will the champion schools receive bragging rights for the rest of the year, they’ll be helping the environment, one recycled can or half-eaten hotdog at a time. And while I’m up in the bleachers, wearing my favorite jersey and proudly displaying my colors, I’ll be tweeting away (#gameday) on how I’m doing my part to help score against climate change.

To register for the Game Day Challenge

More information on the Game Day Challenge

More information on WasteWise program

About the author: Felicia Chou is a Program Analyst at the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. She enjoys long walks on the beach, photography, and getting into brawls with rival college football fans. Before joining EPA in 2008, Felicia worked as an Associate Producer at a local news station in upstate New York.

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