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Running with Ralphie’s Green Stampede Workshop May 2

2018.04.25-CU Workshop Event-IMAGE

Rocky Mountain Green and the Green Schools Conference will host a workshop, Running with Ralphie’s Green Stampede, on campus about CU Boulder’s LEED platinum-certified net-zero energy Indoor Practice Facility and Training Center.

In 2005 the University of Colorado added a requirement to the campus building code that all new university buildings must be LEED certified. The Athletics department’s newest development, completed in February 2016, was no exception, reaching LEED platinum certification.

The complex is the 19th building on campus to earn LEED certification. It consists of two new builds and one retrofit—the Champions Center, Indoor Practice Facility and Dal Ward Athletics Center.

CU Athletics demonstrates their commitment to sustainability via their green buildings and operations. These ways of doing  business are then promoted to fans through a program called Ralphie’s Green Stampede, which asks that fans follow the Buffs’ lead by adopting sustainable behaviors at home, work and play.

The tour will start around 2 p.m. at the statue at the Champion Center main entrance and will go until 5 p.m. Those meeting on campus will still need to register here. Cost is $100, though students and young professionals can use code “WKPEP18” to attend the tour at a discounted rate of $35.

For those in the Denver area, transportation will be provided to and from the workshop destination, picking up and dropping off at the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center.

Read more here.

California Selected Winner of Pac-12 Zero Waste Competition

By Pac-12 Conference

Photo credit: Cal Athletics

Photo credit: Cal Athletics

The Pac-12 Conference announced today that the University of California was selected the overall winner of the Pac-12’s Zero Waste Competition for the 2017-2018 basketball season, with three other Pac-12 universities selected as winners of subcategories. Each Pac-12 institution participates in the competition with the goal of determining which university diverted the most waste from the landfill at a selected men’s basketball game, as well as which used the most innovative methods to expand reach and impact of sustainability education efforts.

The “Conference of Champions” is a leader in Green Sports. The Pac-12 is the first conference to have all its member universities join the Green Sports Alliance. It also became the first league to host a sustainability conference where it announced another first — the creation of a Pac-12 Sustainability Working Group, which includes representatives from each of the 12 athletic departments and school’s sustainability office. The working group works to ensure the Conference keeps pushing the green envelope on sponsorships, fan engagement and overall awareness of the sustainability advancements in the Conference.

The Pac-12 Zero Waste Bowl provides a friendly reminder and spirited platform for Pac-12 universities to engage on best practices in athletics waste diversion and to learn how each campus strives towards zero waste goals. In addition to the overall waste diversion rate, the universities were scored on innovation, partnership and participation, and fan engagement.

Three judges selected one overall winner and one winner in three categories. The judging panel was:

Bill Walton, Pac-12 representative, basketball legend and sustainability enthusiast
Tyler Sytsma, Sustainability Coordinator at UNC Charlotte
Mike Carey, Sustainability Coordinator at the Orange Coast College (Zero Waste/Diversion expert)

Each school submitted a summary scorecard describing their efforts around the Zero Waste game upon which they were judged. The criteria was weighted in the following way: 25 percent participation and partnerships, 50 percent stadium diversion rate and 25 percent innovation credit.

“Congratulations to the Pac12 – Conference of Champions – on yet another fantastic accomplishment in the biggest game of all — life! We certainly distinguished ourselves in the drive to achieve a sustainable lifestyle so that we can achieve the most important goal ever, to keep this all going,” said Walton. “All of our member schools have terrific sustainability programs and departments, setting us far on this most important front. Particular note must be pointed out for the excellent presentations and submissions from overall winner, California.”

2018 Basketball Zero Waste Competition Winner:  CALIFORNIA (vs. Washington, Feb. 24, 2018)
California achieved a 95.7 percent game-day diversion, which included diversion of landfill garbage, cardboard and mix paper recycling, bottles and cans, compost and food/recovery donations. The theme for the day centered around zero waste and sustainability, emphasizing ReUSE. Local elementary school students volunteered to “trash talk” with fans at the game, and other volunteers helped fans to reduce, reUSE, recycle and compost. Fans were also encouraged to donate used clothing in exchange for a repurposed Cal t-shirt.

Fan Engagement:  ARIZONA – Student-run campaign
Since 2015, Arizona has grown its program to engage the campus community and city of Tucson. The Zero Waste program is almost entirely run by impassioned student activists across several campus sustainability groups, including UA Green Team and Greening the Game. The student groups decided to adopt the entirety of the 2017-18 men’s basketball season. Students took over greater leadership roles to implement zero waste efforts which resulted in 27,580 pounds of recycling, 18,140 pounds of composting and 30,900 pounds of landfill materials for a full-season diversion rate of 59.7 percent.

Special Recognition for Exemplary Effort:  ARIZONA STATE (vs. USC, Feb. 8, 2018)
Fans had the opportunity to win a Zero Waste swag bag. In order to participate, they had to take a picture or video of themselves recycling at the Green Game on Snapchat and use the unique Geofilter that was made for the game. ASU also hosted a sustainability expo providing fans an opportunity to engage with sustainability representatives as well as to promote ASU’s sustainability initiatives. The high profile nature of the expo helped to increase the exposure of zero waste and other sustainability initiatives at ASU. During the game, the 942 Crew student fan group dressed as the “bag monster” for the curtain of distraction.

Student-Athlete Engagement:  STANFORD – Student-Athlete Video
A Cardinal field hockey student-athlete led her teammates to create promotional videos related to waste and recycling that showed the teammates juggling water bottles on their field hockey sticks and “scoring” by getting the water bottle in the recycling bin. The Office of Sustainability was able to use these videos to promote recycling and composting at the game by posting them to its social media channels.

Read the full release here.

New CSU Working Group to Make Affordable Healthy Food a Reality for Students

By Newswise

2018.04.10-CSU Food Working Group-IMAGE

The first-ever California State Universities’ Food Systems Working Group (CSU FSWG) kicked off last month, and all hands are on deck when it comes to serving CSU students healthier food.

The inaugural meeting on March 14th was attended by a committee of students, professors, technical experts, dining management staff, food producers and administrators from all 23 campuses and respective communities. Their goal is to get more ‘real food’ on CSU campuses.

Real food, defined as local- and community-based, fair trade, ecologically sound and humane, is increasingly being sought after by students.

“Students are becoming more and more sustainability-minded,” said Corinne Knapp, associate director of dining services at Chico State. “They want to know where their food comes from and they want to feel connected to the farmers that harvest their food. Clean ingredients with clear labels and things like fair trade coffee are important to them. We’re responding to their demand.”

The demand was amplified through a 2017 vote by the CSSA, the collective voice of the CSU’s 484,000 students, to participate in the Real Food Challenge – a national effort for universities to shift 20 percent of their food budget toward real food by 2020. The CSU FSWG aligned their goals with the values of the challenge, striving to not only provide healthier food options on campus but also to invest more in California’s local farmers.

“There’s usually an added cost when it comes to purchasing from smaller, local farmers,” said Clement Tsang, assistant coordinator for the Real Food Challenge. “In turn, only 2 percent of California’s total food budget is spent on smaller to midsize farms across the state. This initiative aims to enrich our local communities while reducing costs for students who want to eat healthy.”

Currently, eight CSUs have a real food system in place. Through partnerships with local farmers and a joint purchasing agreement with the University of California (UC), CSU campuses are implementing ways to make affordable real food a reality for students.

Chico State’s dining services, for example, was looking at $23,000 in added costs per year in order to make a switch to serving cage-free eggs. Through the joint purchasing agreement with the UC, Chico State was able to make a deal that minimized the cost to only $3,000 more per year.

For transparency, all campuses participating in the Real Food Challenge are audited on their progress through the Real Food Calculator. The calculator tracks how much each campus spends on real food versus conventional food and is intended to serve as a tool for discussion between students and CSU administrators.

CSU FSWG meets every other month to make healthy food options a cohesive statewide effort. Included in the working group are CSU leaders involved in the Basic Needs Initiative. Students, faculty, campus administrators, local food producers and experts are welcome to join the group.

Read the full story here.

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