Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.79
Liaison Leslie North
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

Western Kentucky University
EN-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Leslie North
Director of Sustainability
Geography and Geology
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution held a sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at students and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:
Yes

Has the institution held a sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at employees and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:
Yes

Name of the campaign:
GameDay Recycling Challenge for waste diversion on home football game days

A brief description of the campaign:

The GameDay Recycling Challenge engages fans in recycling through resources, information and competition. For adult tailgaters, Resource Conservation staff members circulate the tailgate area handing out bag bundles (a recycling bag, trash bag, and recycling guide) to tailgate sites and verbally promote waste reduction to fans. This is a good opportunity to answer recycling questions to improve fan participation in recycling. In 2019, Facilities Management Resource Conservation purchased 4,000 can koozies to reward fans for recycling. The koozies featured 2 sides: one reading “Hilltopper Fans Recycle Their Cans” and the other reading “Go Green. Go TOPS!”. Facilities Management Resource Conservation staff members also artistically chalk data on the sidewalks surrounding the stadium to share data with fans and reiterate which bins are intended for recycling.

In the student tailgate area, student organizations compete to see who can recycle the most at the tailgate. Each participating organization receives a recycling bin with their name on it (typically Greek letters) that is serviced throughout the game. At the end of the tailgate, bags are collected, weighed and recorded. The organization with the most weight and lowest contamination is announced on social media as the tailgate recycling winner. The winning organization is provided a painted tough filled with ice for the next football game. All 14 IFC fraternities are provided a custom recycling bin. We offer to provide bins to all organizations, but fraternities are the primary groups that participate. In Fall 2019, 890 men were members of a fraternity and 1405 women were members of a sorority. This equates to approximately 5,000 students engaged over the course of the season.


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign:

The GameDay recycling challenge has dramatically increased participation in tailgate recycling. Annually we have recorded a greater diversion of recyclable waste from the general waste stream. We have also witnessed greater participation in the program. In 2019, 243 tailgate spots were rented for the football season. WKU Athletics does not track the total number of tailgaters before each game, but approximately 5,000 people tailgate before each game; 30,000 over the course of the season. The average football game attendance was 15,191 people in 2019. In Fall 2019, 890 men were members of a fraternity and 1405 women were members of a sorority. This equates to approximately 5,000 students engaged over the course of the season through our student tailgate initiatives.


Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
The WKU Green Tour as a learning tool

A brief description of the campaign (2nd campaign):

The Sustainability Coordinator and Office of Sustainability student employees are responsible for giving tours requested by classes and individuals. The goal is to increase awareness among faculty about ways in which the campus can be used as a living laboratory. The tour allows students to go 'behind the scenes', showing them the dining composter and the natural gas power plant. They are able to see firsthand the sustainability measures WKU has implemented. The tours demonstrate best practices and engage students in practical problem solving. It is common that planting this seed in students though a tour sparks an interest that has them returning to the office, either for volunteer hours or a class project. A green tour request form is available on the Office of Sustainability website, allowing for easy registration and accessibility for professors and students.


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign (2nd campaign):

From August 2018 to May 2019, the Sustainability Coordinator and employees conducted 11 Green Tours. In the fall 2019 semester, 7 classes were taken on a green tour, including a youth group. We catered to a variety of majors, including Folk Studies, Marketing, and Environmental Science. The majority of instructors required a reflection or project for their students related to the information pertaining to campus sustainability and the Green Tour.


A brief description of other sustainability-related outreach campaigns:

HRL Sustainability Partnership: Resource Conservation partners with HRL to make the resident halls a greener place. Resource Conservation presents to RA's at training, provide them with signage, present at hall meetings (as requested) and maintain the Borrow a Board program. The Borrow a Board program allows RA's to borrow a high-quality sustainability bulletin board kit and reduce paper waste from decorating their bulletin board. To date, 6 boards have been checked out by RA's reaching 180 residents, 100 RA's were trained on campus resource conservation efforts, and 13 buildings were equipped with informational recycling signage.

Resource Conservation and Information Technology Services partnered in 2020 to distribute mousepads with recycling information on them across campus at tabling events. The mousepads are also distributed during new Faculty/Staff computer setup meetings and Faculty/Staff service calls.


Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data were provided by Courtney Martin in Resource Conservation and staff in the Office of Sustainability.

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