For years, UT has worked to reduce its environmental impact while becoming a widely recognized leader in resource conservation and environmental stewardship. UT will celebrate its progress with Sustainability Day, a showcase of the sustainable initiatives taking place in and around campus and the Knoxville community.
UT’s Office of Sustainability is hosting the event at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, October 23, at Presidential Courtyard on Andy Holt Avenue on campus. The event is free and open to the public, and will feature local food vendors, artisans, environmental organizations, and live music.
“We want Sustainability Day to be a great event,” said Preston Jacobsen, manager of the Office of Sustainability. “But we also want it to be a celebration that highlights and continues the innovative sustainability-minded culture and practices that have been a part of UT for decades.”
Vendors will be present to sell produce and other local products, and food trucks will be set up along Melrose Avenue east of Presidential Courtyard.
In addition, the Office of Sustainability will kick off its annual Power Down Pledge drive. The Power Down Pledge encourages students, faculty, and staff to commit to do their part to Make Orange Green by reducing their personal energy consumption.
The winners of the “reVOLve” mini-grant contest will be announced during the event. Funds were raised through an on-campus yard sale during Welcome Week and will support student-developed environmental projects and initiatives.
Game Day Recycling
Sustainability Day also will highlight the Game Day Recycling program, led by UT Recycling and supported by the ARAMARK and UT Athletics “Good Sports Always Recycle” program, to turn Neyland Stadium into a zero-waste facility in the future.
“We are well on our way,” Jacobsen said, with UT diverting more than 50 percent of the waste generated from each home game to date. “At the Utah State game alone, we kept eighteen metric tons of recyclables and compostable material out of the landfill.”
Last year’s Game Day Recycling results showed that UT disposed of just under half a pound of waste per person during the football season, ranking among the top schools in the SEC and the nation.
“Our drive to turn Neyland Stadium into a zero-waste venue is on track to make huge waves in college sports and is something we all can get behind,” Jacobsen said.
Brooke Krempa (865-974-7782, firstname.lastname@example.org)