Fact Sheet: "Ralphie's Green Stampede" Initiative

Published: Aug. 5, 2008
  • CU-Boulder's "Ralphie's Green Stampede" initiative to move the campus toward a zero-waste football stadium makes CU the first BCS school -- and the first major collegiate or professional sports program in the United States -- to undertake such a sustainability measure.
  • Virtually all public food and beverage services in Folsom Field have converted to recyclable or compostable materials and containers. Virtually all packaging within the stadium will be refillable, recyclable or compostable. This year officials anticipate recycling or composting at least 90 percent of the waste generated at Folsom Field.
  • There will be no trash containers -- only recycle and compost containers -- throughout the outdoor public areas of Folsom Field. Biodegradable bags will be used to collect compostables.
  • Recyclables and compostables will be collected at over 50 attended locations inside and around the stadium. Student volunteers will monitor the stations and advise patrons of proper materials separation steps. ROTC units will assist with recycling and compost removal during stadium cleanup.
  • Any non-recyclable or non-compostable materials that are brought into Folsom Field by fans will be collected in the stadium's recycle containers and sorted out post-game at the recycling processing facility.
  • White Wave Foods is a primary sponsor of "Ralphie's Green Stampede." The sponsorship will support the zero-waste initiative at Folsom Field, as well as the effort to offset 100 percent of the electricity used during the games with Green-e Climate Certified Renewable Energy Certificates.
  • CU-Boulder's food service contractor, Centerplate Inc., has been instrumental in assisting the Athletic Department, the CU-Boulder Environmental Center and CU-Boulder Recycling Services in the planning and execution of this new process.
  • Boulder-based Eco-Products Inc. is furnishing the compostable servingware.
  • The Folsom Field zero-waste and recycling efforts could reduce as much as 455 million BTU of energy, equivalent to the total yearly energy use of four U.S. households, according to the EPA, providing beneficial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions for all Coloradans.
  • The Folsom Field zero-waste program is expected to be low cost initially and to save costs over time as price differences ease between compostable materials and disposables. Cost savings will result from reduced trash disposal costs and will be tracked over the course of this season.
  • Finished compost will be returned to CU for use on campus landscaping.
  • CU-Boulder has already funded and implemented a robust energy conservation program in its athletic facilities that has helped cut energy consumption -- and carbon emission -- an average of 5 percent per square foot across campus each year between 2002 and 2007.
  • Last season, more than 11 tons of recycled materials, more than two tons of cardboard and 53.2 tons of waste were collected from Folsom Field football games -- nearly 2.5 times more collections than the previous year.
  • CU is a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment that commits the campus to a plan and date for carbon neutrality campuswide. CU-Boulder Chancellor G.P. "Bud" Peterson is a member of the ACUPCC Steering Committee and active on a national level to recruit other campuses to climate action commitments.
  • CU is supportive of Gov. Ritter's climate action plan that targets a 20 percent reduction by 2020 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050 in carbon emissions. The reductions by CU Athletics are another step along CU-Boulder's path toward carbon neutrality.
  • Currently, CU-Boulder students are working in local neighborhoods to directly reduce residential energy-related carbon emissions in affordable housing via weatherization programs that upgrade homes' energy performance, reduce residents' energy bills and create service learning and education experiences.