G4 Celebrates Decade of Game Day Recycling

Recycling Bin and Material with Girl and Boy

The traditional gift for celebrating a 10-year anniversary is aluminum – how fitting for celebrating 10 years of Garnet & Gold Goes Green, Florida State’s game day recycling program.

Garnet & Gold Goes Green (GGGG or G4) began as a litter prevention program hosted by Tri-Eagle Sales as part of their “Be a Good Sport” and “Pitch In” campaigns. Student organizations were recruited to help collect trash and recycling before each home football game. Over time, the program evolved into an open volunteer program through FSU’s Center for Civic Education & Service (now the Center for Leadership & Social Change) and the Sustainable Campus program.

We have grown to include hundreds of student volunteers who have served thousands of community service hours and G4 has also expanded into other large campus events, ranging from Parents Weekend to Dance Marathon. Today, GGGG exists because of the generous support across campus and from our partners, including Tri-Eagle, Coca-Cola & Coca-Cola Recycling and Aramark.

Along the way, G4 has reached some pretty impressive milestones. During the 2012 season, the 100-ton mark was passed by the third game. To date we have collected over 145 tons of recyclable material – cans, bottles and cardboard – all from our game day activities! And we’ve even worked with ESPN Game Day during their last two visits to Florida State to ensure they had all the recycling they needed to pull off such a large production.

The G4 volunteers you see each home game, walking around wearing bright gold tanks, are the front line and friendly faces of our program. They are dedicated to keeping our campus clean and green during game day and to cheer you on with your own recycling efforts. Special thanks should also be shared with the teams working behind the scenes. The Solid Waste & Recycling crew and the ROTC Seminole Battalion work tirelessly to clean up after the games and restore FSU to the beautiful campus we all enjoy.

So as football season is upon us once again, there are so many opportunities to celebrate with us and keep game day green!

Be sure to dispose of cans and bottles in the right bins inside and outside of the stadium; set up your own recycling station in your tailgate area (we’ll be sure it gets collected); coordinate rides with friends and family to reduce the amount of miles traveled (or even try biking to the game); practice “Leave No Trace” principles (lnt.org/learn/7-principles); and perhaps even calculate the impact of the day’s events and contribute to the Sustainable Tallahassee Community Carbon Fund (www.SustainableTallahassee.org/ccf) to bring it all full circle.

Finally, when you see a G4 volunteer working hard on game day, give them a high-five of thanks – they may even have a fun prize for you this season.

Elizabeth Swiman is director of campus sustainability at FSU. Contact her at sustainablecampus@fsu.edu. “Greening Our Community” articles are brought to you by the Capital Area Sustainability Council. The Council rotates the articles among its members. See www.sustainabletallahassee.org for information.