Hosting a Zero Waste Event

Are you hosting an event and would like to get involved in the zero waste initiative? Here are some action steps you can take to make your event a success!

  • Contact a Zero Waste Member for planning assistance
  • Request additional recycling and composting bins
  • Reduce paper use
  • Work with vendors to request use of compostable and recyclable products
  • Advertise "Zero Waste" and request volunteers

Zero Waste Competitions
Competition is always an effective tool to engage the student body. Sustainability programs like zero waste utilize competition to provide incentives for students to develop a personal investment in the programs and thus grow in their understanding of sustainability. Here are upcoming waste competitions for the 2023/24 school year: 

The Friar’s Challenge
August 21 - September 24, 2023
Can you recycle and compost better than our campus Friars? Aquinas Residence Halls, Theme Houses, and Campus Apartments will compete to beat the Willowbrook waste diversion rate during the Friar’s Challenge. If your residence can recycle and compost more waste than the Friars, you will be treated to a barbeque with Father Bob, as well as the traveling sustainability trophy. (If no residence beats Willowbrook, the building with the highest waste diversion rate wins.) Do you have what it takes? 

RA Sustainability Education Challenge
August 21 - September 24, 2023
RA's across campus are competing alongside the Friar’s Challenge to have the best sustainability program and the winner will receive a Rocketbook Notebook! (Plus some bragging rights.) While a team of RA’s can compete, only one gift package will be awarded to the winner or winning team. Possible education programs include: Build Your Own Recycling Box Event, "Mug-Shot" Program and Bulletin Board, Trash Can Audit Event, etc… The program can be focused on zero waste or any other sustainability-related theme. We encourage you to share pictures of the event to either Instagram (@aq_sustainability) or Twitter (@aqsustains). #aqsustains.

Campus Race to Zero Waste >Link
January 29 - March 24, 2024
The Campus Race to Zero Waste is a friendly national competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Over an eight-week period in February and March, colleges report recycling, composting, and trash weights to be ranked against participating colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. For the second year in a row, Aquinas finished 7th in the Diversion category and 2nd in the Food Organics Category (smaller campus division) in 2023. 

Tip the Scale Waste Competition
January 29 – February 25, 2024
The Tip the Scale Waste Competition is a friendly competition of all buildings on campus. Aquinas faculty, staff, and students are fighting to prove that their building is THE zero waste champion to beat! There is both a student category and a faculty/staff category, with the champion in each category winning the traveling sustainability trophy. Each participating building is working to beat its average (cumulative) diversion rate to date, earning a point each week that the percentage is beaten. The building with the highest number of points at the end of the competition wins!! In the event of a tie, the building with the highest percent change receives preference.