Carbon-neutral football game earns honors

CALS can take pride in the fact that the UW-Madison athletics department has been recognized by a collegiate sports marketing association for its “Wear Red, Think Green” campaign. A key event in that campaign was the Badgers’ Homecoming game on Oct. 25, which was designated as a “carbon-neutral” game. CALS faculty, staff and students contributed much of the legwork in that effort.

Pat Walsh, professor of biological systems engineering, Tom Gower, professor of forest and wildlife ecology, and BSE student Julia Kohlberg were involved calculating the carbon footprint of the game. Walsh assembled the energy conservation tips that were displayed on the stadium’s giant video screens, and CALS students were on hand to distribute additional information. CALS Associate Dean Ben Miller chairs an advisory group established by the athletic department to evaluate its current practices and make recommendations for reducing the environmental impact of UW athletic events. Another partner was ReThink Wisconsin, a coalition formed to encourage sustainable waste management on campus, who organized student “recycling ambassadors” to help collect recyclable waste at the games. The spirit of that effort is summed up in this editorial penned by Jack Kloppenburg, professor of rural sociology, who serves as faculty adviser to ReThink Wisconsin.