Longhorns go green
Sept. 4, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- Around here, burnt orange is more than a color. It's an identity, and it means Texas Longhorns.
But the Longhorns are also learning what it means to be green.
UT Athletics is simply part of a university-wide sustainability effort that mostly goes unseen or unnoticed. However, as fans flood the campus and Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium for Saturday's Texas Football season opener, they will have a chance to see some of those efforts.
The University is cooperating with the City of Austin to conserve water as the area deals with severe drought conditions, and will not operate familiar landmark water fountains throughout campus. In addition, UT Athletics fields are being watered only twice weekly, except as needed for safety and welfare of student-athletes when temperatures reach 105 degrees on the field.
The new artificial FieldTurf at Joe Jamail Field inside the football stadium has reduced water usage by about 80 percent.
Sustainability and environment-friendly causes are part of the culture in UT Athletics, and one that fans get to take part in, because Texas Fans Make Us Proud.
This summer, UT Athletics worked with TxDOT to form the "Longhorns Don't Litter" community service message. The goal is to use this in conjunction with the long-standing "Don't Mess with Texas" campaign to promote a clean state and environment.
Longhorns Recycling Roundup enters another season on Saturday, after last year collecting 26,385 pounds of recycled plastic at home Texas Football games. This year's goal is to collect at least 27,000 pounds.
Recycling Roundup challenges Texas fans to recycle 24-ounce plastic cups and bottles at numerous UT Athletics facilities, and also creates awareness for recycling, litter prevention and campus improvement. It has been an environmental award-winning program over the past 14 seasons at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
Since 1996, the program has collected more than 140,000 pounds of plastic cups and containers used by Sodexo, concessionaire for UT Athletics home events. Recycling Roundup is sponsored by Austin Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Allied Waste Services, H-E-B, KTBC Fox 7 and Keep Austin Beautiful.
And new for this year, UT student-athletes have initiated a "Longhorns Go Green" effort to collect plastic and other recyclable goods in their practice and training areas.