Regardless of the score, the final home game of the 2008 University of Notre Dame football season will make Fighting Irish history as the first carbon-neutral game played in Notre Dame Stadium.
For the first time, all of the carbon emissions produced by stadium energy use, fan travel, hotel stays and visiting team travel will be offset by energy conservation projects coordinated by the University’s Office of Sustainability during its first semester on campus.
Student-led conservation efforts that have made a large impact in offsetting carbon emissions include the Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb upgrade project, which replaced traditional bulbs with others that use 75 percent less energy; the dorm energy competition, which resulted in a conservation of 93,674 kilowatt hours of energy between Sept. 25 and Oct. 19; and Game Day Recycling, which has thus far collected 65 tons of recycling, resulting in 144 metric tons of reduced carbon emissions.
Walsh Hall, a women’s dorm that houses some 190 students, reduced its emissions by 31 percent to capture the energy competition title, and took"some extreme measures"to do so, according to Sister Janet Stankowski, O.P., the hall’s rector. Turning off bathroom and basement lights during the day, unplugging vending machines and exercise equipment while idle, and sharing loads in the washing machines and dryers were a few of the tactics the winning hall employed. Walsh will receive $500 and an Energy Champion banner for its efforts.
While the dorm competition has ended, another sustainability competition will take place in conjunction with the Syracuse game. In light of NBC’s annual Green Week, the television network ñ which broadcasts Irish home games ñ is hosting an eco-competition between Notre Dame and Syracuse. The school that has the most team members making commitments to lead greener lives will win $10,000 to be used to enhance sustainability efforts on the winning campus. NBC also is hosting a video contest on the topic of sustainability, with the winning video to be broadcast on the NBC Web site.
The Office of Sustainability is encouraging all fans to wear a green item of clothing to support the game’s initiatives. More information on this event and other University sustainability programs is available at http://green.nd.edu on the Web.
_ Contact: Rachel Novick, Office of Sustainability,_ " firstname.lastname@example.org ":mailto:email@example.com