University of Calgary

Spotlight on sustainability: Go green!

UToday HomeDecember 14, 2012

A KNES 339 class project diverted 67 per cent of waste from a Dinos game through a number of measures, including offering free popcorn to fans that brought their own container. Photo by Derek ShtandA KNES 339 class project diverted 67 per cent of waste from a Dinos game through a number of measures, including offering free popcorn to fans that brought their own container. Photo by Derek ShtandThe final score was 73-62 for the men and 91-78 for the women over UNBC, but the real winner at the Dinos’ basketball games on Nov. 24 was the environment.

Every year, students in Kinesiology 339 Natural Environment, Wellness and Health pick a sustainability project as a class service project. This term, the 50 students decided to work with Dinos Athletics to hold a waste free event at a Dinos’ basketball game (slide show).

“The whole class got really into it,” says Ailey Jarvis, one of the KNES 339 students. “It was an overall great experience for the whole class to learn that we can make a difference.”

The class split into six different groups—marketing, communications, measurement, evaluation and a half time group to come up some green themed games to engage the crowd when the players were off the court. A video group enlisted the help of some athletes to make a couple of videos to promote the waste free event (video 1 / video 2).

It was a lot of fun. And it kept a lot of waste from the landfill.

“The diversion rate was huge,” says Jarvis. “We measured all the garbage at an earlier game and then at the actual event on Nov. 24. We had a diversion rate of 67 per cent, which I think is absolutely fantastic — just by having people standing at the bins to direct to which bin to put the waste in.”

Jarvis says fans were encouraged to bring their own reusable beverage containers and those who brought their own buckets got free popcorn. “You could see in the stands that people had their own reusable containers,” says Jarvis. “It was really nice to see.”

It was also nice to see the KNES 339 students step up, says their instructor, Janice Cook. “I was really impressed. We talk a lot about leadership at the university and I thought it was great to see them develop as leaders,” says Cook.

Cook thinks the fans at the game learned about how to divert waste from the landfill — something her students picked up on the first day of class when she told them they weren’t allowed to bring disposable coffee cups or non-reusable water bottles into the classroom.

“Just being in that class in general, I feel like I am a little bit more environmentally conscious,” says Jarvis. “It really affected me.”

Spotlight on Sustainability is an ongoing series profiling the work of students, faculty and staff. To submit story ideas please contact the Office of Sustainability.