American University's Second Annual Sustainability Awareness men's basketball game on February 4 resulted in a 64 –49 win over the Eagles' Patriot League rivals, Loyola University (MD). Meant to celebrate and bring greater awareness to the AU community's commitment to sustainability, the event and game helped to educate fans about AU's commitments to zero waste, carbon neutrality, and energy efficiency. The event was a collaborative effort between AU's Office of Sustainability, Facilities Management, and the Department of Athletics and Recreation.
Presentations and exhibits at the event showed how the community can be more sustainable both on campus and at home. Sustainability-related activities before, during, and after the game included:
- An environmental club fair before the game that featured AU student organizations, including Eco-Sense, Take Back the Tap, Food Recovery Network, Green Eagles, AU Zero Waste, as well as AU Student Government and AU Dining;and giveaways and games of "trashketball."
- Students were given commemorative "Blue is the New Green" Blue Crew t-shirts.
- Zero Waste stations were located throughout the arena to help attendees sort waste properly and help make Bender Arena a zero-waste arena.
- A zero waste relay race was held during halftime, where two Eagles fans raced to sort a variety of commonly-discarded items properly, and then shoot a basket within the allotted time.
- Sustainability-related facts and trivia were featured on the video boards throughout the game.
"The American University community takes great effort to live and work sustainably every day, from helping us become a zero-waste campus to cutting our energy and carbon footprints," says Chris O'Brien, the director of the university's Office of Sustainability. "We hope that students, faculty, staff, and fans in attendance that night learned how they can play a part in making our ambitious goals a reality and celebrating our success in sustainability and on the basketball court. We're pleased with our continuing partnership with the Department of Athletics and Recreation to promote this effort."
Making the day even more memorable, men's basketball team captain John Schoof scored his 1,000th point, becoming only the 30th Eagles player to do so in program history.
Additional sustainability-related events are planned for this spring including the AU EcOlympics residence hall competition in March as well as Earth Month and Campus Beautification Day in April.
The Sustainability Awareness basketball game was sponsored by Progressive Waste, Big Stuff Inc. RSI, Ergo Can, The Victor Stanley Corporation, Duke Energy Renewables, and the DC Sustainable Energy Utility.
AU is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2020. Reducing energy consumption and sourcing energy from renewable sources are two major strategies toward meeting this goal by decade's end. AU's Zero Waste Policy is part of the university's commitment to achieving zero waste being sent to landfill and incineration by 2020. Currently, AU recycles, composts, or otherwise diverts more than two-thirds of its waste from landfill and incineration, well on the way to meeting its ambitious goals.