For the past year, women’s soccer’s junior midfielder Emma Yackley has been pushing for a change in Creighton Athletics’ sustainable efforts, which has consequently led to this week’s Green Games.
The Green Games, which Yackley helped plan with Creighton’s Office of Sustainability Programs and Athletic Department, will use sustainable practices to offset carbon emissions made by a home match and also promote sustainable practices for the future.
The event will be across two games which will be held at Morrison Stadium with women’s soccer hosting Marquette Thursday and men’s soccer hosting UIC this Saturday.
“This isn’t a special event in terms of this being a one time thing,” Yackley said. “This is something that’s here to stay and this is a part of our culture at Creighton.”
Some of the sustainable practices being implemented at the games include the use of renewable energy to offset the emissions of the electricity used by stadium lights and concessions, compost and recycling stations for fans, and the reduction of single-use waste at concession stands.
A sustainability fair accompanied by local and student-run sustainability organizations will also be present at the event to help promote a greener, more sustainable planet.
On the field, athletes and coaches will also have the opportunity to wear green accessories to further promote the cause.
“I’m so excited for what this has turned into,” Yackley said. “It’s above and beyond my expectations of what I thought we could do with it.”
The process all started last fall when Yackley got in touch with the Office of Sustainability Programs to get a compost bin at Morrison Stadium for the numerous paper Powerade cups the team goes through each practice and game.
“Emma and I have been working together for probably over a year to think about how we can integrate sustainability even more into our athletic programs,” Director of Sustainability for the Office of Sustainability Programs, Nick McCreary, said.
After the games, McCreary plans on meeting with Creighton’s concessions provider, Sodexo, in hopes of expanding the Green Game’s practices to all other athletic events.
“The plan is to see how these games go, and roll it out for our other athletic teams to turn it into a Green Games series,” Yackley said. “The dream is to have a green men’s basketball game at CHI, but that will probably take some more planning.”
Even after the event, there will still be a lot of work to be done to reduce carbon emissions and non-recyclable waste at Creighton athletic events, but Yackley and McCreary are hopeful that this will get the ball rolling.
“Emma was a huge driving factor in this and we’re excited to see how they do this week and where we’re headed after that,” McCreary said.