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GYC presents Operation Earth: Project Green

By The Galt Herald

Annika Krusche, exchange student from Marburg, Germany, works on a project for the Galt Youth Commission annual art exhibit.

Annika Krusche, exchange student from Marburg, Germany, works on a project for the Galt Youth Commission annual art exhibit.

The Galt Youth Commission (GYC) and all its exhibiting artists invite you to come and experience a thought-provoking interactive exhibit and interpretive centers this Friday, April 20 from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Littleton Community Center. Admission is free and open to everyone – families of all ages, interests and backgrounds.

Last summer, members of the Galt Youth Commission (GYC) attended the Youth Sports and Climate Summit as a part of the 2017 Green Sports Alliance held at Golden One Stadium in Sacramento. During this visit, the youth commissioners came to realize the great impact we all have on our planet and how humans, young and old, can change the consequences of environmental degradation.

As the GYC was selecting a theme for this year’s Teen Art Exhibit, all of the commissioners agreed that by sharing the lessons they learned and involving our whole community, elementary to high school and those long out of high school, maybe they could effect change in Galt to make it a better, healthier place.

Led by Celio Gonzalez, a first year GYC member, commissioners have been creating and collecting submissions from schools and students – some from groups and some from individuals.

“Teachers have really engaged in this activity with their students”, Gonzalez said. “They have developed projects for their classrooms and taken ownership of the theme.”

From robots to flying jellyfish to virtual reality, each piece has been developed to help the community and its youth think about the choices they make and alter their behavior to improve the condition we live in.

View the story here.

Game Day Garbage: Reducing Food and Plastic Waste

2018.04.25-Game Day Garbage-IMAGE

All around the world, sports fans flock to stadiums, arenas and ballparks to cheer for their favorite teams. With many of these fans consuming food and drinks during events, an enormous amount of waste is generated by the sports industry each year. In the U.S. alone, major league baseball fans create more than 1,000 tons of waste every season—and until recently, all but a tiny percentage has made its way into landfills.

That is changing, thanks to Cargill’s bioplastics joint venture NatureWorks, the world’s largest producer of polylactic acid polymer, called Ingeo™️ PLA. The company is enabling more sports waste to be diverted away from landfills.

NatureWorks grew out of a Cargill research and development project in the 1990s. The team came up with a low-carbon-footprint resin, made by fermenting sugar into lactic acid and forming it into hard pellets, which are then sold to manufacturers. The pellets can be used in a variety of products normally made from plastics or fibers, including diapers, coffee capsules, 3D printing filament, cell phone cases, and foodservice packaging. Marketed under the brand name Ingeo™️, some of these products can be designed to be 100% compostable.

At Target Field, home to the Minnesota Twins baseball team, located in Minneapolis just 13 miles from Cargill headquarters, the team has partnered with Eco-Products, a foodservice manufacturer, to provide cups, plates, trays, and eating utensils made from Ingeo materials—all of which can make it easier to collect food waste to be sent to compost.

Bottles and cans have long been recycled at the ballpark, but by composting Ingeo-based products more commonly made from oil-based plastics, the Twins have increased the amount of waste diverted from landfills to 90 percent.

All around the world, more teams are taking on the challenge of increasing the sustainability of their game-day operations. Some venues are converting waste into compost, used as mulch on fields and green spaces.

“Over the past several years, a number of sports teams with recycling and composting rates around 10 percent have dramatically increased their rates to 80 percent or more,” said Scott Jenkins, chairman of the Green Sports Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping enhance the environmental performance of sports teams, venues and leagues.

As stadiums expand their use of Ingeo-based goods to reduce landfill waste, NatureWorks is looking to help other industries, like the restaurant sector, minimize their carbon footprints, increase organics diversion and to help make all food service ware more environmentally sustainable.

That’s a goal everyone can cheer for.

View the story 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.

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