Ralphie's Green Stampede, the University of Colorado at Boulder initiative that converted Folsom Field last fall into a zero-waste facility during football games, will continue and expand to all athletic events in the coming school year, commencing with CU's first home football game against Colorado State University on Sept. 6.
Last year's season of impressive results included the collection of more than 40 tons of recyclables and compostables, a 199 percent increase in materials diverted from landfills and a 30 percent reduction in overall waste generation both within Folsom Field and at tailgate lots. Ralphie's Green Stampede this year not only will extend its presence but will introduce new compostable materials to operations and form new partnerships with suppliers.
"We were excited to unveil Ralphie's Green Stampede last year, and we're even more excited this year to extend these important recycling steps to all our competitive programs," said CU Athletic Director Mike Bohn. "As with any aspect of what we do, we're not satisfied with mere success. We want to be the clear leaders in athletic program sustainability nationally."
The program was unveiled in 2008 when Folsom Field replaced all public trash in the stadium with recycling and composting bins lined with biodegradable bags. Over 35 student-monitored "Zero-Waste" stations inside and outside the stadium helped spectators with recycling and composting.
Stadium vendors switched to compostable food and beverage packaging and utensils. Carbon emissions from stadium energy use and team travel were offset through Green-e Climate Certified Renewable Energy Certificates and local offsets from the Colorado Carbon Fund.
"CU students and campus leaders are continuing to look for new ways to push forward on sustainability and climate action," said Environmental Center Director Dave Newport. "While we expand Ralphie's Green Stampede, what we have learned from the football program is helping inform plans for a zero-waste campus in the next few years and Athletics' leadership on this issue has made that conversation possible."
White Wave Foods Inc. continues to be a primary sponsor of Ralphie's Green Stampede and Boulder Toyota is a new sponsor this year. Centerplate Inc., the concessionaire, and Eco-Products Inc., a materials supplier, will carry on their instrumental involvement with Ralphie's Green Stampede. Boulder-based Seth Ellis Chocolatier will introduce new compostable materials through its candy wrappers.
For more information on Ralphie's Green Stampede visit www.cubuffs.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=4457&SPID=274&DB_OEM_ID=600&ATCLID=1549954.