Baylor University Wins National Wildlife Federation Award in Campus Chill Out Competition

April 15, 2011

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WASHINGTON - Baylor University has been honored as a winner of the National Wildlife Federation's annual competition Chill Out: Climate Action on Campus. This award program recognizes U.S. schools that are designing and implementing creative approaches to advance sustainability on campuses. Representing about 2 percent of the nation's carbon footprint (as large as an average state) and educating 19 million future world leaders each year, the nation's colleges and universities are ideal places for innovation to spark a clean energy revolution and produce green jobs for the United States. Baylor is one of six winning schools that were chosen from a national pool of entries.

Baylor's Sustainability program has been working with both the university and the community to revolutionize recycling at home football games. The recycling initiative brings together participants from Baylor Athletics, the depart of environmental science, student Greek organizations, Baylor IMG Sports Marketing and Keep Waco Beautiful to educate and engage the community about the benefits of recycling.

At home games, more than 160 recycling bins are now placed in tailgating areas and inside the stadium grounds. Volunteers man the stations, helping their fellow fans recycle both aluminum and plastic items correctly. Fans are also encouraged to recycle through a strategic advertising campaign of public service announcements and program ads. During the 2010 season, the initiative recycled more than 6.5 tons, tripling the amount of waste diverted from landfills over the previous year and keeping large amounts of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.

"We are honored to receive this national recognition from the National Wildlife Federation for Baylor University's efforts to lead the way in athletic recycling," said Smith Getterman, sustainability coordinator at Baylor. "It takes a lot of great people and outstanding teamwork to accomplish something like this, and I'm fortunate to be part of it. We look forward to furthering our commitment to sustainability and Baylor athletics."

Other winning schools in the contest include: Central Carolina Community College (Pittsboro, NC), Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, VA), Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School, Missouri University of Science & Technology (Rolla, MO) and Montreat College (Montreat, NC).

"America's institutions of higher learning are vital in fostering leadership and innovation in new technologies and management systems for lowering greenhouse gas emissions on campuses and in their surrounding communities across the nation," says Kevin Coyle, vice president for education and training for National Wildlife Federation. "As our society's youth will face the harsh realities of climate change over their lifetimes, they must have a voice in tackling the challenges of their future."

About Chill Out

The impressive efforts of the six winners were lauded in an NWF's Chill Out: Climate Action on Campus webcast on April 13. The colleges will also receive a monetary award from the National Wildlife Federation to continue exploring innovative clean energy and climate action initiatives. This year's webcast was co-hosted by Tara Platt (voice and live-action actress) and Yuri Lowenthal (voice of Superman on CW's Legion of Superheroes). The program celebrated this year's award winners and showcased initiatives occurring on campuses across the nation. The webcast is available for viewing on-demand after April 13.

"The passion that comes from these students, faculty and staff for a sustainable world invigorates the rest of society to continue the fight towards a clean energy economy," says Jen Fournelle, Chill Out Manager for National Wildlife Federation. "Chill Out is an incredible learning opportunity for campus leaders to see what others are doing and initiate positive changes in their own community. Academic institutions are an integral part of society--if they don't lead the charge against climate change, who will?"

The program will be part of a series of events scheduled on hundreds of campuses across the country leading up to Earth Day 2011.

Chill Out: Climate Action on Campus is proudly supported by The Kendeda Fund, and other partners including Climate Counts, AASHE, Energy Action Coalition, Jobs for the Future, Campus Conservation Nationals, Earth Day Network and more.

About the NWF Campus Ecology Program

National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology Program has been an integral leader in the campus greening movement since 1989. In the last two decades, they have built a library of campus-tailored resources to help thousands of students, faculty and staff at more than one-third of all colleges and universities in crafting programs, incentives, curricula and best practices. As the climate crisis in our country grows, Campus Ecology has also evolved to help campuses tackle the challenges of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. The nation's 4,100 colleges and universities educate as many as 19 million students in any given year, and NWF is committed to partnering with them and fostering the seeds of creativity growing in some our nation's most important hotbeds of innovation in confronting the climate crisis.

National Wildlife Federation's mission is to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future. Visit www.nwf.org.

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

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