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Penn State’s Sustainability Focus Continues With ESPN’s College GameDay

Penn State has emphasized sustainability on campus, and hosting ESPN’s College GameDay for this month’s White Out matchup against Michigan was no exception to the recent push to go green.

While the show is known for providing the best college football pregame entertainment, ESPN also prides itself on keeping it eco-friendly.

During the three-day set-up, Penn State Dining and local State College restaurants provided food and drink to the large crew working on Old Main Lawn. As a result, there were plenty of leftovers after the fact.

Professor of agricultural and biological engineering Judd Michael is the university’s representative to the Green Sports Alliance, so he helped collaborated with this group to minimize the event’s impact on the environment.

“The ESPN GameDay operations coordinator had asked if Penn State would help to donate the leftover food and drinks,” he said in a release.

Michael, professor of forage management Marvin Hall, and several student volunteers delivered a truck full of leftovers to local charitable organizations.

Sustainability efforts also focused on what GameDay attendees left behind on HUB Lawn after the show. Michael said ESPN made making sure recyclables would be diverted from a landfill a priority.

Twenty student volunteers from the Penn State Sustainability Institute’s Tailgate Ambassadors program assisted fans in recycling during the event. Tailgates at Penn State home games are also eco-friendly as a result of these ambassadors.

Centre Safe, a local organization focused on assisting survivors of sexual or domestic violence, reportedly picked up other food items from Thursday and Friday for its residents.

Penn State’s sports facilities also have sustainability programs — Pegula Ice Arena, for example, has a recycling program with a zero-waste buffet hosted by Penn State Hospitality Services.

“The ability of the Penn State community to come together so quickly — ESPN gives us only a couple day’s notice to organize waste management, food donations, and so on before arriving for ‘College GameDay’ — highlights how good our systems are at managing special events for sustainability and fan experience,” Michael said.

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About the Author

Lauren Wysseier

Lauren is a freshman writer majoring in journalism from Fort Myers, Florida. She is a Floridian but, at heart, a Pennsylvanian. Her go-to fun fact is that she used to live in Barcelona, Spain. She is passionate about dogs, food, the Oxford comma, and most importantly, all-things Penn State. Don't hesitate to send her your best dog videos on Twitter @laurenwysseier or email [email protected] with other inquiries.

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