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Alice Henly’s Blog

CU-Boulder Basketball Launches "Sustainable Gamedays"

Alice Henly

Posted February 24, 2014

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The University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) continues to grow its leading “zero waste” sports practices by establishing a new partnership with sponsor company BASF to host a series of eight “Sustainable Gamedays” during men’s and women’s home basketball games. 

During the select games, CU Buffs Athletics is screening videos featuring facts about sustainability and organics recycling on the in-arena screens at the university’s Coors Events Center. The videos show students and other fans how to use the many “zero waste” stations placed around the arena for recycling and composting.

cu zero waste team.jpg

“Zero waste” green teams are also stationed around the arena concourse to help fans put their discards into the right bin. Fans also have the opportunity to participate in a "zero-waste" themed trivia game to win prizes.

“Sustainable Gamedays at CU offers basketball fans an entertaining and interactive way to learn about new ways of thinking when it comes to sustainable living,” said Chris Bradlee, biopolymers market development manager for BASF. “The university shares BASF’s commitment to promoting zero waste by collecting organic waste with compostable bags. We’re very proud to say this is happening not just on game day, but every day – both on campus as well as in the community.” 

cu stations.jpg

The University's athletic multimedia rights holder, Learfield Sports' Buffalo Sports Properties, secured the BASF partnership. The new sponsorship builds off of CU’s extensive recycling and composting program within athletics, recreation and across the university.

"With innovative programs like Sustainable Gamedays, together, BASF and CU-Boulder are transforming ‘zero waste’ at college campuses," says David Newport, director of the CU Boulder Environmental Center.

In fact, CU-Boulder has one of the most diverse and effective collegiate sports greening programs in the United States, addressing recycling and composting, energy efficiency, green building design, and turf management across both athletics and recreation.

In 2008, CU-Boulder’s Folsom Field stadium became the first major collegiate sports stadium (NCAA Div. 1-FBS) in the nation to adopt a “zero waste” goal. 

CU Full Recycling Bin.png

To do so, CU-Boulder partnered with White Wave Foods Inc. to launch the “Ralphie’s Green Stampede” waste diversion program, named in honor of the school’s buffalo mascot, Ralphie. The university also brought on a manufacturer of compostable food serviceware, Eco-Products Inc., as a sponsor and supplier. In 2014, CU-Boulder achieved a single-game high of over 90 percent waste diversion and over 80 percent waste diversion rate across all six home games. 

The athletics department’s Coors Events and Conference Center was also converted to a “zero waste” facility during the 2009-10 basketball season. This program is now the centerpiece of the CU-Boulder/BASF “Sustainable Gamedays” initiative, which aims to further engage fans and the Boulder community in the sustainable efforts across CU Athletics and the campus at large. 

CU’s collaboration with BASF aims to create an environmental outreach platform that capitalizes on the university’s highly visible sports greening initiatives, explains Newport. CU-Boulder hopes that their Sustainable Gamedays messaging, building on their successful Ralphie’s Green Stampede work, encourages thousands of CU-Boulder students, alumni, and other supporters attending games each month to be environmental stewards.

CU waste sorting.JPG

“Our goal is to use our ‘zero waste’ efforts and Sustainable Gamedays brand platform to inspire fans to take bigger sustainability steps in their own lives," says Newport. “We recognize that sports is a uniquely powerful messanger for promoting sustainability and our BASF partnership is helping us take advantage of that opportunity.”  

Collegiate Report Cover.pngLearn more about CU-Boulder’s leadership in sports greening and “zero waste” by checking out the in-depth case study in NRDC’s Collegiate Game Changers report. Download the full report for more information on the burgeoning college sports greening movement.

Find out more about the NRDC Sports Project at and @NRDCGreenSports

Read more about CU-Boulder’s partnership with BASF and get the Sustainable Gameday dates:

Colorado Buffaloes Athletics Article

BASF Press Release

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Maureen ONeillMar 4 2014 09:23 AM

Congrats on your zero waste initiatives! Have you considered switching to refillable dry-erase markers for the whiteboards? Think of all the plastic markers getting thrown out. EcoSmart's markers are non-toxic, refillable and made of recycled aluminum. Another great way to green sports facilities at CU-Boulder!

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