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Alice Henly’s Blog

Bates Sustainable Athletes Group Hosts Sports Greening Event Featuring NRDC

Alice Henly

Posted March 4, 2013 in Curbing Pollution, Green Enterprise, Health and the Environment

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Last week, the Bates Sustainable Athletes group hosted their first sports green event. Sustainable Athletes is a newly formed student group with a mission to “bring awareness to and reduce the ecological impact of sports at Bates.” 

IMG-20130228-00745.jpgThe group was founded and is managed by student athletes in partnership with the Athletics Department, Eco-Reps, and the Sustainability office within the Facilities Department.

The students are working to create programs that help make Bates athletics more sustainable, while engaging the wider campus community in their efforts to improve the environmental profile of their facilities for all varsity, club, and intramural sports. 

Some of their initiatives to date include:

  • Working with coaches to provide all athletes with reusable BPA-free water bottles.
  • Saving plastic and money by not purchasing bottled water for team travel.
  • Packaging all food travel in bulk, instead of individually for each athlete, to cut down on excess packaging and waste.
  • IMG-20130228-00743.jpgEncouraging greener choices (like recycling) with environmental outreach such as posting posters around athletics locker rooms and holding campus-wide educational events.

Their first educational event, held last Thursday, February 29th, was a success, drawing many students as well as faculty. I spoke at the event, representing the NRDC Sports project, about the growing collegiate sports greening movement, which is acting as a catalyst for advancing sustainability on campuses nationwide.

Greening athletics and recreation is inspiring students to think and act more sustainably both in the classroom and on the field. This movement helps translate green lessons into greener lifestyles, while working to improve resource efficiency in athletics facilities and often to cut operational costs.

IMG-20130228-00760.jpg

Bates is among several colleges in the NESCAC athletics conference expanding their sports greening programs. In fact, more and more athletics conferences, from the Ivy League to the PAC 12 and SEC, are embracing the sports greening movement with resources and support from NRDC, the Green Sports Alliance and U.S EPA.

To learn more, look out for NRDC’s next Game Changer report, which will be devoted to the leading case studies in collegiate sports greening and is slated to be released this summer. Find out more about NRDC’s sports greening resources at www.nrdc.org/sports.  

If you’re part of the Bates community and would like to get involved, please contact Nicole at nbrill@bates.edu or Kate at kdeangel@bates.edu.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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