By Charlene Lange and Isabella Blackman
Why can’t Iowa athletics go green?
When it comes to sustainable initiatives, the University of Iowa Athletics Department is struggling to compete within the Big Ten Conference. From facilities to nutrition, the Hawkeye Athletics program funds a variety of amazing opportunities for their athletes. Yet, there is a gaping hole within the program that many of us do not see: sustainability initiatives.
Why can’t they strive to be number one in zero-waste game days and renewable energy instead of growing their carbon footprint? Athletics needs to put resources toward proper waste management to compete with leading institutions who are already going zero-waste. Just think of all the trash that is collected after games in the stadium, parking lots and tailgates. Having recycling bins is not enough. Athletics needs to cut waste at its source by eliminating single-use plastics and offering composting at its events.
The ball has already been passed. The wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented. Most Big Ten programs have sustainability initiatives set in full force to help our planet, showing that the tools necessary for a more sustainable future are readily available for Iowa Athletics’ use. For example, Ohio State, with their 100,000-person stadium, has over 90 percent of their game-day trash deferred from the landfill because of compostable products and their pledge for zero-waste football games. Zero waste is possible. All athletics needs is our support!
More recycling, composting and monitored stations are needed in the stadium, parking lots and locker rooms. We take care of our athletes; let’s start taking care of our world and be number one. The possibilities are endless for Iowa Athletics to make their mark on our community. Let’s just hope it is a green one.
From athletes to fans, we can all cheer, change, recycle and save the planet. Let’s go Hawks!