While interning for the Office of Sustainability, Bridget Acland of Millwood, Virginia, conceived an idea to institute a recycling program for home football games. With the help of fellow interns, the program was developed and implemented at the start of the 2015 football season.

Before home football games, about 30 volunteers visit tailgates around campus, handing out blue recycling bags and talking with tailgaters about what to recycle and what to throw away. The program has since been taken over by another student, but Acland, a sustainable biomaterials major, still finds time to volunteer.

Acland really began to see the effects of the program after the first year. One time she approached a large tailgate group but found they had brought their own blue recycling bags and converted to all compostable or reusable items. “That felt like a big victory,” she said. “It means that the behavior change is not just a one-time event; it is something that is sticking with Hokie fans and that people are thinking about outside of just game days.”

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