Athletics Eco-Reps Score with Zero-waste Basketball Game

March 17, 2014

On Friday, February 21, the Athletics Eco-Reps had a great win for sustainability with a Zero-waste Basketball Game. Nearly 20 volunteers spent the evening helping Quaker fans to sort all waste items between compost and recycling bins as Penn's men's basketball team battled Harvard in the Palestra. The Penn Rewards program partnered with the event to give double points to anyone who checked in at the Eco-Reps table to fill out a Waste Awareness Survey, and the first 50 fans also received free reusable water bottles. During halftime, a video Public Service Announcement featuring basketball team members and created with the help of Penn Sports Network encouraged fans to do their part. The cheerleaders even closed out the second half with a "Let's Go Green!" cheer, sparking the enthusiastic crowd in the student section.

The event was the result of weeks of planning among the Athletics Eco-Reps, Penn Athletics, and Facilities and Real Estate Services. The game required that the Palestra food vendor Aramark swap out usual food containers for those that could be only either recycled or composted. For example, they used compostable clamshell containers rather than aluminum-lined wrappers for hot dogs, and compostable trays instead of black plastic ones for french fries. Preliminary reports from Penn’s waste removal vendors indicate that 0.66 tons of organic waste/compost and 0.30 tons of recycling were diverted from the landfill.

Penn Athletics is looking to transition the Palestra to a zero-waste venue over the next few years. Read the Penn Current article and view photographs


Penn President Amy Gutmann was the first Ivy League President to sign the University Presidents' Climate Commitment.

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