Spring 2017 - Zero-Waste Campus Athletics
The Department of Athletics and Recreation, Facilities Services, UChicago Dining and the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Chicago launched a project this fall to enhance the environmental sustainability of the campus athletics program. Through a series of experiential learning courses in environmental studies and public policy, students are researching the behavioral and operational aspects of energy use, water use, and waste management to develop recommendations for reducing the environmental impact of athletic events and operations. A student-athlete sustainability council will implement the sustainability recommendations in collaboration with faculty, staff, facilities operators, University administration, and external partners. The year-long project will culminate at the University Athletic Association’s Outdoor Track and Field Conference Championship Meet on Earth Day 2017, for which students will design and lead a “zero-waste” event by implementing initiatives to divert recyclable and food material from landfills. Performance will be measured and lessons learned will inform and improve the sustainability of future campus events.