Green Athletics Team Challenge
The Green Athletics Team Challenge is a friendly competition between teams that share a common season. Green Athletics has worked closely with the Athletic Department and Sustainable Bowdoin to institute a program designed to help individual teams meet sustainability goals. These goals are introduced to each team at the beginning of their season as a checklist of both general and team-specific items to be completed in order to eliminate wasteful practices from their various athletic pursuits and decrease their team’s footprint. The teams compete for points by doing sustainable actions each week, such as going trayless for a week at team dinners or taking shorter showers that week.
The main objective is to spread a culture of sustainability, a sense of “this is how things are done at Bowdoin,” among the athletic teams. To reward student athletes for their actions and enthusiasm, we host a low-key pub night where the teams who’ve achieved a certain number of points each season congregate to eat, talk and have fun with their team and others. We hope this initiative will inspire student-athletes to make impactful adjustments in their everyday practices and will bring Bowdoin one step closer to meeting its larger sustainability goals.
Historically, this competition was called the Efficiency Initiative and involved the Bowdoin Student Athletic Council (BSAC). Today, the Team Challenge asks for teams to decide upon a representative from the team to serve as a liaison with Green Athletics to monitor their progress, encourage team members, come up with new challenges, etc. This person may be from any class year, of any major, is not necessarily otherwise involved with BGA or Sustainable Bowdoin, and is not necessarily the team’s BSAC representative.
Inspired by the EPA Gameday Challenge, BGA aims to be a presence at Bowdoin teams’ home games helping fans recycle.
For several years, Green Athletics has partnered with the non-profit Rerun Shoes to collect lightly used shoes to send to West Africa where they will be refurbished and resold. There are shoe bins placed in Farley Field House and Buck Fitness Center. Shoes are packed and shipped every few weeks.
Food Forward was founded by a Bowdoin student and continues to be operated by Bowdoin’s amazing Dining Services. After tailgates and bus rides, teams can drop all unused non-perishable items in a Food Forward donation box located in one of the athletic facilities and members of Food Forward will pick the food up and deliver it to the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program. There are food collection bins outside of the Buck Fitness Center, in the Watson Arena lobby, and in Farley Field House.
The EPA Gameday Challenge is a friendly recycling competition among colleges and universities that works to reduce waste consumption and spread sustainability awareness at football games. At this past year’s event, Green Athletics helped to collect 102 pounds of food waste and 176 pounds of recyclables, diverting 75% of waste from the landfill as recycling, compost, and pig fodder. Among division two and three schools, Bowdoin ranked 2nd in organics and 4th for diversion percentage. This led to Bowdoin being ranked 8th place overall out of over 62 schools across all divisions!
Earth Day is an international event that Sustainable Bowdoin Celebrates. Green Athletics participates by selling Atayne gear and engaging members of the Bowdoin community in fun green-related activities.