Playing Nicer: Green Athletics Works to Improve Sustainability

Story posted December 17, 2013

Green Athletics is a group of students, both athletes and non-athletes, working to make athletic operations at Bowdoin College more sustainable. So, what does that actually look like?

EPA Gameday Challenge: The Gameday Challenge is a friendly recycling competition among colleges and universities that works to reduce waste consumption and spread sustainability awareness at football games. Green Athletics completed its second annual Gameday Challenge at the Bowdoin/Wesleyan football game over Family Weekend! 102 pounds of food waste and 176 pounds of recyclable were collected, diverting 75% of waste from the landfill as recycling, compost, and pig fodder. Among division two and three schools, Bowdoin ranked 2nd in organics and 4th for diversion percentage. This led to Bowdoin being ranked 8th place overall out of over 62 schools across all divisions!

Rerun Shoes: Rerun Shoes is a social enterprise that recycles usable shoes in the United States for reuse in Africa. The Green Athletics group has created a partnership with Rerun Shoes to collect shoes on campus and ship them to the Rerun Shoes office to be sent to merchants in West Africa for reuse. Those shoes that are too far gone to be recycled for reuse are brought Nike and are turned into turf. Since implementing the program last year, over 300 pounds (and counting!) of shoes have been collected.  

Food Forward: Bowdoin athletic teams are partnering up with Food Forward to reduce food waste as much as possible! After tailgates and bus rides, teams can drop all unused non-perishable items in a Food Forward donation box located in one of the athletic facilities and members of Food Forward will pick the food up and deliver it to the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program.

Sustainability Events: Members of Green Athletics set up an information table at the Bowdoin hockey game on December 6th. The objective of the table was to inform spectators of the goals and accomplishments of Green Athletics as well as general sustainability in the athletic arena, including information about the LEED Certified Watson Arena and the NRDC. Be on the lookout for more sustainability events on campus and at athletic events!