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Trash talking at the wrestling meet

Sun Devils wrestling meet to highlight ASU's Zero Waste initiative.
January 15, 2016

Athletics event will use power of the fans to drive Zero Waste initiative

Wrestling is a minimalist sport, with no elaborate uniforms or equipment.

And the fans at Friday night's Sun Devils wrestling meetThe Sun Devils will host Iowa State at 8 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena. will be asked to keep that sentiment in mind by keeping their trash to a minimum.

Arizona State University’s Zero Waste Initiative is partnering with the Sun Devils Athletic Department on a marketing campaign aimed at fans. Signs will remind them to “think before you throw” and volunteers will staff the bins for people who really aren’t sure where to toss that plastic fork.

Lucas Mariacher, program manager for Zero Waste at ASU and an alumnus of the wrestling team, said the meet is a big event and the partnership will raise the profile of both organizations.

Zero Waste has been working for years behind the scenes to cut ASU’s landfill stream two ways, according to Alana Levine, assistant director for Zero Waste. Aversion means the institution tries to produce less waste by buying items that can be reused, recycled or composted. Diversion means actually recycling or composting everything that can be.

The process is a loop, Levine said.

“We look at the life cycle of materials. If we’re going to be recycling our paper, we have to make sure we are buying back recycled paper so we have closed that economic loop,” she said.

One major way that trash is reduced at athletic events is by working with the concessionaire, Sodexo.

“A few years ago we really analyzed the packaging around the hot dog you’re going to buy,” Levine said. “Can they serve chips in a tray that’s recyclable instead of a bag that’s not recyclable?”

She said the Athletics Department has been eager to participate. “We stand side by side with Athletics; we’re not pulling them along,” she said.

Sparky visited the ASU staff barbeque in December, where waste diversion was more than 99 percent.

The initiative has been very successful. Mariacher said that waste is separated and weighed after events. More than 99 percent of the waste produced at the ASU staff barbeque in December was diverted, he said. The record for Wells Fargo Arena was a men’s basketball game last year in which 90 percent of the trash was diverted.

But now the fans are being invited to do their part.

“One of the shifts in our thinking in how we’re approaching Zero Waste is we really want the individual to be activated,” Levine said.

Each ASU team will feature the Zero Waste marketing campaign at one of its signature events this semester. Friday is the wrestling team’s “MMA Night,” featuring wrestling alumni who now participate in the Ultimate Fighting Championship competition.

“Our number one goal is that the behavior transfers to other venues and even to the fans’ personal lives,” Mariacher said. “Maybe you shouldn’t throw away all those recyclable things.”

The other Zero Waste promotional events this spring will be: women’s basketball, 7 p.m. Jan. 22 vs. the University of Arizona; gymnastics, 7 p.m. Feb. 22 vs. the University of Arizona; wrestling PAC-12 championship, 6 p.m. Feb. 27; men’s basketball, 6:30 p.m. March 5 vs. California; baseball, 7 p.m. April 12 vs. the University of Arizona; and softball, 7 p.m. April 23 vs. Oregon.

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU Now


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From mud fun to music, spring's key dates at ASU

These are the dates you're going want to know at ASU this spring.
From a Hunter Hayes concert to Broadway's "Annie," a list of key dates at ASU.
January 15, 2016

There are a little more than 100 days in the spring semester. Each of these days are important. But some of the dates between the start of classes on Jan. 11 and the commencement ceremonies on May 9 are more interesting or unique than the others. Here's a collection of some of these glamour dates. Enjoy.

Kids marching.

MLK day performance at West Campus — Jan. 20

A collection of Valley sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders will gather to emulate the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom — you know, the march that included Martin Luther King Jr.'s famed "I Have a Dream" speech. ASU faculty member Charles St. Clair will handle the speech. The event is free and begins at 11 a.m.

Women playing basketball.

Women's basketball team hosts University of Arizona — Jan. 22

A scheduling fluke meant our men's basketball team hosted the Wildcats over holiday break. Boo. So get your rivalry action here with the women's hoops squad, which is currently the 10th-ranked team in nation. That has to bode well for this matchup, which starts at 7 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena.

People in a classroom.

ASU Startup Summitt — Jan. 30

Entrepreneurs, here's an opportunity to turn your idea into reality. The summit provides workshops and networking opportunities for startups or other ventures built on creative dreams.

The journey begins at 11 a.m. in the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus. Register here.

People in graduation attire.

Deadline to apply for graduation — Feb. 15

It's not reserving your gown, but you need to fill out the appropriate paperwork to wear your gown. Then you can transition to the world and show everyone how well ASU prepared you to succeed.

A fun poster.

Night of the Open Door

Here's your chance to get a glimpse of some of those cool things happening at ASU that you hear about every time we tout our greatness. Basically a series of open-house events at each of ASU's campuses, the Night of the Open Door invites students and the public into corners of ASU creating art, exploring science or striving for innovation. You can participate in a 12-bar blues workshop or learn to program arduinos or create your own Rubik's Cube. These nights are more than just showing off ASU's achievements — they're opportunities to have some enlightenment mixed into your fun Friday or Saturday nights. Here's a list of the dates for each campus.

West: 4-8 p.m. Feb. 6
Downtown: 4-8 p.m. Feb. 12
Polytechnic: 5-9 Feb. 19
Thunderbird: 4-8 p.m. Feb. 20
Tempe: 4-9 p.m. Feb. 27

Visit the Night of the Open Door website for more information.

Hunter Hayes

Devilpalooza featuring Hunter Hayes — Feb. 26

Hunter Hayes has been Nashville's Wunderkind for what feels like 10 years. That he's only 24 says everything you need to know about his ability to dazzle on the guitar or write country-pop songs that compel people to turn up the volume. He'll be bringing his charismatic stage presence to ASU for this 9 p.m. concert event that's free for students, faculty and staff. Register here.

People in a crime scene lab.

Forensics Day at West Campus — March 3

We've all watched enough TV cop procedurals to know that forensics are fascinating. Take that interest to the West Campus' forensics program and discover how ASU students are trained to do what mesmerizes us on TV.

Men playing basketball.

ASU men's basketball team hosts California and ESPN2 — March 5

It's always a little more interesting when ESPN comes to campus. The sports network returns to broadcast this 6 p.m. game at Wells Fargo Arena that we hope will have postseason implications for these Pac-12 teams.

People on a college campus.

Spring break — March 6-13

Last one out turn the lights off, right?

ASU baseball.

ASU baseball plays Meiji University — March 15

For all the talk about baseball being "America's pastime," this game against the Tokyo university feels like a fine example of global synergy. The first pitch flies at 6:30 p.m. at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

Muddy volleyball.

Oozeball — April 2

Not familiar with oozeball? It's essentially volleyball in a mud pit. More importantly, the annual event is popular at ASU. You'll want to see it happen, or get in on the action.

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith at ASU — April 12

Literature enthusiasts have to be excited about this. Smith is one of contemporary literature's bright lights, a voice that can be poignant and humorous with topics like immigration — which was at the heart of her award-winning first novel "White Teeth." Her talk starts at 7 p.m. in the Tempe Center for the Arts. RSVP here.

An ASU class in progress.

Final exams — May 2-7

Is it too early to start studying?

"Annie" on Broadway.

"Annie" at ASU Gammage — May 4-8

There might not be a limit to how many times you can hear a pack of orphans sing "Hard Knock Life." With that in mind, listen to the song again during this touring Broadway production of that little, red-haired orphan. Get tickets here.

People graduating.

Commencement — May 9

As master learners, the educational journey doesn't end for ASU students once they toss their caps into the air. But the rite of passage does mark a new beginning, and the close of another school year.

Photos courtesy press materials and ASU Now.