Campus Race to Zero Waste

Today living green is mainstream. A-list celebrities like Jessica Alba and Lisa Ling are advocating for eco-friendly lifestyles. Green living is also creating new jobs.

But did you know living green is competitive?

Colleges and universities around the country are competing to see who's the greenest of them all.

RecycleMania: Don't Be Trashy

In the 10 weeks leading up to Earth Day, colleges and universities show their green by competing in RecycleMania.

Before we talk about the competition any further, please know this: RecycleMania isn't all about recycling. Schools can compete in a variety of categories.

For example, the Waste Minimization category uses regular "waste weigh-ins" to track everything that gets thrown away on campus (even in the recycling bin). The campus with the least amount of waste wins.

In the "Per Capita Classic" category, however, schools compete to see which can collect the largest combined amount of paper, cardboard and bottles and cans on a per person basis. The campus with the largest amount of recyclables wins.

Whatever category (or categories) your campus competes in, the main goal is the same: to reduce or eliminate waste and improve recycling efforts on campus.

Or, in the words of one Dallas College student, "Don't be trashy."

Dallas College Does Green

Dallas College is an environmental leader in our community – teaching, learning and supporting sustainability.

The college is also an environmental leader in the RecycleMania tournament – holding multiple national titles.

For example, just last spring North Lake won its fifth national championship in RecycleMania (ranking first out of 142 colleges and universities in Waste Minimization). That's incredible! And this year Mountain View is already rising to the top of the scoreboard, taking fourth place for that same category in pre-season scoring.

Then there was Brookhaven who finished 11th in the state in the "Per Capita Classic" category. The college collected 48,100 pounds of recyclables during the 2015 RecycleMania tournament. According to the Brookhaven Courier, that's the equivalent of keeping 13 cars off the road!

Also noteworthy, last year Richland, which has more than 11,000 students, reported a recycling rate of about 80%. Richland is known for purchasing office equipment with waste prevention in mind and replacing paper documents with online alternatives wherever possible.

RecycleMania - Get in the Game

Ready to help your campus win a national title? Remember to reduce, reuse and recycle on campus!

You can also talk to your Office of Student Life to find out how you can become involved in RecycleMania events on campus.

For updates on RecycleMania results during the competition, make sure to visit

And remember, "don't be trashy!" Live green!