Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Jayhawks Keepin’ It Green

FACT: Jayhawk Student Athletes are the hardest working athletes in the country.

Several of the University of Kansas coaches use the words “Blue Collar Work Ethic” to describe the philosophy of the hard work put into preparation in many of our sports. We prepare physically and mentally, with our team and alone, when no one is watching. We sure do get thirsty from all that training!

FACT: Gatorade. It’s ACTUALLY IN the Jayhawk Student Athletes (and lots of it).

The football team in particular goes through cases of Gatorade like Joey Chesnut goes through hot dogs. In a recent order, 250 cases were purchased with 24 bottles to a case, and estimates show that the team will go through eight times that amount in a year.

FACT: Plastic Gatorade bottles are made from recyclable PET #1 plastics

When former line backer, Mike Rivera, brought to he attention of our SAAC executive board the amount of Gatorade bottles being simply thrown away at the new football facility we knew that this was an issue worth investigating. Turns out, during two-a-day practices the football team was drinking more than 150 a day and not a single bottle was being recycled.

With the help of Mike Harrity I got in contact with Celeste Hoins, leader of the Environmental Stewardship Program at KU. Celeste was stoked to hear that the athletics department was interested in getting involved in the green efforts on campus and we were thrilled that she was willing to help. We then began meeting with Murphy Grant, Director of Sports Medicine and Head Football Trainer at KU, to work out a plan of attack that would prove the least disruptive for the football team. Recycling receptacles were picked out, pick up times were arranged and then two-a-days began to the delight of the football team.

Since the recycle program has been implemented, Kansas Athletics has recycled over 3,000 bottles from the football practice fields alone! It’s remarkable because the plan has been executed so flawlessly it’s probably even unknown to the hard working athletes on the field. See, recycling is a piece of cake guys.

The football practice fields are only a small step in the green direction for KU Athletics. We have many more areas in which we can become a more sustainable athletic department but were moving quickly in the right direction. Hopefully, if we keep this progress we can become a leader amongst athletic departments nationally as we create a more healthy and sustainable environment to compete in.

FACT: Kansas Jayhawk rock… at recycling. BOOYAH BABY!

Ally Stanton, Softball

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