Ralphie’s Green Stampede, a partnership between the CU Environmental Center, CU Athletics, and Facilities Management, completed another successful basketball season. Ralphie’s Green Stampede had student volunteers at over 20 men's and women's basketball games in the 2021-2022 season. Volunteers educated Buffs’ fans about zero waste and how to be a sustainable buff at home, work, and play. RGS also helped achieve a record 91% diversion rate at the Buffs’ final home game against Arizona.

Zero Waste students pose at the sustainability table at the CU Event Center for the 2022 green basketball game.

Zero Waste students--from left to right: Moe, Emily, and Maytal--pose at a sustainability table at the

CU Event Center for the 2022 green basketball game. Over 200 fans visited the sustainability table at the green game.


Sports sustainability student assistant Claire hands out reusable cutlery to a Buffs’ fan

At the sustainability table, fans could take a pledge to reduce their environmental impact and play a

recycling game in order to win prizes like bamboo utensils, water bottles, t-shirts made from recycled

water bottles, and bike lights. Here an RGS student, Claire, and RGS program manager Angie hand out prizes.

An E-Center student shows a young fan how to play the recycling sorting game

At the sustainability table, Environmental Center student Maytal taught both Colorado and

Arizona fans about proper recycling sorting by having them play a game modeled on corn hole.

Zero waste students sort compost, recycling and trash from the basketball games on folding tables

After the games CU Recycling students sort and audit all the waste from the game on folding

tables at the event center in order to minimize the waste sent to landfills.

Staff sort through compost to remove contamination at a basketball game

At our green game, the Buffs’ upset win over Arizona on February 26th, we diverted 91%

of the waste from landfills, including 1,200lbs of bottles and cans for recycling and 1500lbs

of organic waste sent to a compost yard.

CU Recycling student examines a plastic lid to see if it’s compostable or not during a sort

At sorts, CU Recycling students, like Makayla (left), work with CU Athletics staff like sustainability

coordinator Alex Hoots (right) to audit the waste from concessions staff to ensure that they are

following proper sorting procedures. Students follow up with training for staff.

Ralphie’s Green Stampede volunteer coordinator Lucas poses with four volunteers at the event center

Ralphie’s Green Stampede MVP Lucas (center-left) poses with four of the over seventy volunteers

he recruited and trained this season to help make CU basketball zero waste.