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NBC to host Green Week battle for last home game

Emma Driscoll | Friday, November 14, 2008

Notre Dame Stadium is not the only place that the Irish will have a chance to defeat Syracuse next week, as students, alumni and fans will be playing an important role in NBC Universal’s Green Week.

“NBC had their first Green Week last year, but they’ve never collaborated with Notre Dame before,” president of GreeND Lourdes Long said. “We have a close corporate relationship with them, so they have invited us to play a role this year.”

NBC challenged both Notre Dame and Syracuse to get as many people as possible to join their Carbon Rally teams.

“You basically sign up and you can elect to take personal challenges,” Long said.

Challenges may include making sure tires are properly inflated and driving more “delicately,” without pushing the gas pedal more than necessary, Long said. The school that gets the greatest number of people to join its team wins $10,000, Long said.

Students, alumni and fans can all join Notre Dame’s Carbon Rally team, Long said.

“Everyone can go to the Office of Sustainability Web site and join the Irish team there,” Long said.

NBC will also be sponsoring an ad competition between Notre Dame and Syracuse. Students from both schools can create 30-second films about sustainability issues, and the winning ad will be broadcast during the Notre Dame-Syracuse football game.

“I think there will be some highlighting of Notre Dame sustainability initiatives during the football game,” Long said.

Another component of Green Week will be that the football game will be carbon neutral – a first for the University.

“This is Notre Dame’s first game that will be carbon neutral. It’s actually one of the first in NCAA,” Long said.

Long said emissions from fan travel, team travel and any activities at the stadium on game the day will all be taken into account in determining how much carbon needs to be offset in order to have a carbon neutral game.

Carbon emissions will be offset with different programs students and the Office of Sustainability have done this semester, Long said.

Game day recycling, which has consistently collected over 10 tons of recyclable products each game day, will help offset carbon emissions, Long said.

The energy competition that challenged dorms to conserve energy is another program to that will contribute to the offset of emissions. On average, dorms reduced their energy use by eight percent, according to Long.

“Walsh Hall won and they had over 30 percent reduction over the course of the competition,” Long said.

Students will have the opportunity to exchange their light bulbs for compact fluorescent light bulbs as another way of offsetting emissions. Long said 1,400 bulbs were exchanged several weeks ago, and another 3,000 will be exchanged this Sunday with the help of volunteer students.

“I think the really exciting thing is that we’re going to be exchanging 3,000 light bulbs. It’s a concrete way students can help out,” Long said.

The Utilities office has also trained 100 students to conduct brief energy audits in the dorms, Long said. During the audits, students will check to see that heaters are running efficiently and that computers are set to energy efficient standards, Long said.

The Office of Sustainability will host a tailgate before the game for all students and faculty who have participated in sustainability initiatives, Long said.