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U First in Utah to Join Green Sports Alliance

The student-run Recycle Rice-Eccles initiative aims to prevent recyclable items from entering landfills, collecting roughly 25,000 pounds in cans, bottles and other recyclables annually from football tailgating lots. This is one of many ongoing efforts the U has made to “green” university Athletics.

Aug. 25, 2014 – The University of Utah recently joined the Green Sports Alliance, making the U’s teams the first in the state, either collegiate or professional, to join the alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of athletic events.

“By joining the Green Sports Alliance, we can connect fans, athletes, facility leaders and employees, and students in efforts to reduce the impacts from the U’s sporting events, as well as enhance overall campus sustainability awareness and engagement,” said Myron Willson, director of the U’s Sustainability Resource Center.

The membership is reflective of ongoing efforts to “green” University Athletics, including energy-efficient lighting upgrades at the Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Center and the Jon M. Huntsman Center, Energy Star appliance upgrades to all kitchens in Rice-Eccles Stadium and the Recycle Rice-Eccles campaign. This student-run initiative aims to prevent recyclable items from entering landfills by recruiting volunteers to collect cans and bottles from tailgating lots at football games.

Thursday, Aug. 28, is the first game of the season and the kickoff for Recycle Rice-Eccles, now in its fifth year. Volunteers can sign up online until 11:59 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25. Volunteers receive a T-shirt and free entry into the game.

Efforts to improve the sustainability of games and events will also help the University of Utah move closer to the goals it outlined in the 2010 Climate Action Plan.

The Green Sports Alliance is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help sports teams, venues and leagues enhance their environmental performance. Since launching nationally in March 2011 with six professional teams and five venues as founding members, the Green Sports Alliance has grown to more than 250 professional and collegiate teams and venues from 20 different sports leagues. There are currently 25 NCAA universities that are members of the alliance.

For more information about the Green Sports Alliance, click here.