For the first time, all home football games this season will be “Green Games,” with student volunteers helping fans recycle and compost as much waste as possible. Sign up today!
By 3rd-year students Nora Raleigh and Tytus Suchotinunt
In years past, the UVA Office for Sustainability has implemented composting in Scott Stadium at one home football game every season. Aptly named Green Game, this event was an annual offshoot event of the GameDay Recycling Challenge, a national competition between dozens of universities to reduce, recycle and compost waste generated at home football games.
Each year, 80+ volunteers supported the event, educating fans at tailgate parties, sorting waste during the game and sweeping the bowl afterward. Last year, Green Game volunteers collected more than 3,000 pounds of compostable materials and more than 9,000 pounds of recyclables. (Go Wahoos!)
For the 2022 season, the sustainability team has committed to supporting composting and recycling efforts at every home football game, making every home game a Green Game! The decision to modify Green Game into a season-long event was made in alignment with UVA Sustainability’s goal to reduce waste to 30% of 2010 levels by 2030. This season, we aim to have 10-15 volunteers supporting composting and recycling at football games along with student employees and staff from the Office for Sustainability.
Our first Green Game of the season on September 3rd was great, even despite some bumps! We were able to collect over 10 totes of recyclables and fill about 12 bins of compostables in just two hours. Thanks to UVA Dine’s hard work, the utensils and containers at concession booths were all compostable. This switch alone will likely divert thousands of pounds of waste from the landfill this season! Additionally, UVA Dine got rid of single-use plastic water bottles, swapping them for aluminum alternatives, which are infinitely recyclable — unlike plastic bottles.
We also had two lovely volunteers join in on the fun. Our volunteers play a pivotal role in ensuring that compost bins are not contaminated by non-compostable items, which is critically important as otherwise the entire contents must be thrown away. And vice-versa, volunteers make sure compostable items end up in the compost bin.
Volunteering for Green Games is a great way to make an impact in the local community and meet amazing people involved in sustainability around Grounds. If you are a UVA student and want to get involved helping UVA reach its waste reduction goals, sign up here to volunteer for any of the future home football games!
Nora Raleigh (she/her) is a 3rd-year student at UVA studying Public Policy and Leadership and Global Environments and Sustainability. She is the leader of the Service Learning team at UVA’s Office for Sustainability, organizing service opportunities and educational events for students.
Tytus Suchotinunt (he/him) is a 3rd-year student at UVA studying Global Environments and Sustainability. He is part of the Service Learning team at UVA’s Office for Sustainability.