Monday, September 29, 2008

Ohio University Gets its Green On

by Carlyn Lynch

The streets and sidewalks were a sea of green Saturday as floats inspired by this year's environmentally-focused homecoming theme, "Get your Green On", rolled by.

Although the Office of Sustainability didn't come up with the theme, coordinator Sonia Marcus was excited about the opportunity to spread awareness about the importance of conservation on campus, "I was thrilled because I recognized the possibilities of pushing the sustainability agenda."

Sonia Marcus on why the green theme means good things for sustainability.

Dumpster Diving Recycling
The dumpster diving team has been part of homecoming since 1995, salvaging whatever they can from homecoming floats to be used again. The voluntary recycling effort doesn't cost the university anything, but cut down expenses by reducing waste. This year as many recyclable materials as possible were used in float construction to get close to a zero waste homecoming. The lead float ran off biodiesel fuel from dining hall greas, nice to know it's good for something.

Adopt-a-Game Recycling
Eco-friendly efforts were amped up throughout the entire weekend, not just for the parade. For the first time ever, the Adopt-A-Game program was in full force at Peden Stadium. The program uses volunteers, including local boy scouts, to walk around the stadium collecting trash and recyclables from the crowd during and after the game. The program has been very effective at home basketball games and this weekend's green theme was the perfect opportunity for it to make its debut at a football game.

Graduate Student Leah Graham talks about how creativity goes hand in hand with sustainability.

Green Giveaways
Green tote bags and recycled key chains were distributed for free during the parade and the Office of Sustainability donated a solar-powered cellphone charger for the homecoming football game raffle. Recycling was promoted at picnics and tailgates as part of the zero waste campaign as well. A tour of the university's ecohouse was offered Sunday afternoon for anyone who wanted to know more about environmentally friendly efforts existing on campus.

Ed Newman on why recycling efforts are beneficial for the community

Recognizing Green Success
Ohio University has one of the best established and most recognized recycling programs in the country, according to the Office of Sustainability. Ed Newman, campus recycling and refuse manager, received the lifetime achievement award from the National Recycling Congress last week for the 'Recyclemania' program and his efforts to get other campuses to recycle. He says, "It's a really good way to preserve the town/gown relationship." After this weekend, the sustainability team is hopeful that more people and students in Athens will be moved to help out the environment.

If you find yourself moved to help the cause, visit for tips on how to live a little greener every day.

The green theme gets students going.

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