This article appeared in a February 2016 issue of the student newsletter.
Today living green is mainstream. A-list celebrities like Jessica Alba and Lisa Ling are advocating for eco-friendly lifestyles. Green living is also creating new jobs.
But did you know living green is competitive?
Colleges and universities around the country are competing to see who's the greenest of them all.
In the 10 weeks leading up to Earth Day, colleges and universities show their green by competing in RecycleMania.
Before we talk about the competition any further, please know this: RecycleMania isn't all about recycling. Schools can compete in a variety of categories.
For example, the Waste Minimization category uses regular "waste weigh-ins" to track everything that gets thrown away on campus (even in the recycling bin). The college with
the least amount of waste wins.
In the "Per Capita Classic" category, however, schools compete to see which can collect the largest combined amount of paper, cardboard and bottles and cans on a per person basis.
The college with the largest amount of recyclables wins.
Whatever category (or categories) your college competes in, the main goal is the same: to reduce or eliminate waste and improve recycling efforts on campus.
Or, in the words of one DCCCD student, "Don't be trashy."
The colleges of DCCCD are environmental leaders in our communities – teaching, learning and supporting sustainability.
Our colleges are also environmental leaders in the RecycleMania tournament – holding multiple national titles.
For example, just last spring North Lake College won its fifth national championship in RecycleMania (ranking first out of 142 colleges and universities in Waste Minimization). That's incredible! And this year Mountain View College is already rising to the top of the scoreboard, taking fourth place for that same category in pre-season scoring.
Then there was Brookhaven who finished 11th in the state in the "Per Capita Classic" category. The college collected 48,100 pounds of recyclables during the 2015 RecycleMania tournament. According to the Brookhaven Courier, that's the equivalent of keeping 13 cars off the road!
Also noteworthy, last year Richland College, which has more than 11,000 students, reported a recycling rate of about 80 percent. Richland is known for purchasing office equipment with waste prevention in mind and replacing paper documents with online alternatives wherever possible.
Ready to help your college win a national title? Remember to reduce, reuse and recycle on campus!
You can also talk to your office of student life to find out how you can become involved in RecycleMania events on campus.
The 2016 competition lasts eight weeks from Feb. 7 - April 2.
For updates on RecycleMania results during the competition, make sure to visit www.recyclemaniacs.org. You'll be able to keep track of how your school is doing week to week as well as view a list of participating schools nationwide.
And remember, "don't be trashy!" Live green!