Campus Race to Zero Waste

What and when is Campus Race to Zero Waste?

Campus Race to Zero Waste Logo

Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly known as RecycleMania) is an annual competition among universities in the US and Canada which measures and compares campus waste reduction efforts over an eight-week period from January 31st to March 27th, 2021. Through Campus Race to Zero Waste educational efforts, UNT is on a mission to engage students, staff, and faculty in sustainable everyday practices that divert items from the landfill and make recycling and waste reduction both accessible and meaningful. Our campus competes in the Stephen K. Gaski Per Capita challenge, which means we'll measure and report the weights of paper, cardboard, and bottles/cans recycled on campus on a per person basis each week. UNT’s Campus Race to Zero Waste campaign is hosted by the We Mean Green Fund. UNT Facilities and the University Union support and assist in measuring the weights of collected recyclables each week of the competition. 


Call for Collaboration

Scrappy properly recycles to reduce campus waste

If you're invested in making UNT a greener campus, we invite you to contribute by proposing a virtual event or activity to advance the goals of Campus Race to Zero Waste. The We Mean Green Fund is seeking partners to facilitate creative virtual events and activities focused on transforming waste reduction behaviors, attitudes, and knowledge campus-wide. Each UNT community member, department, and organization brings a unique perspective to campus waste reduction as each can easily recognize where unnecessary waste and consumption occurs within the scope of their own everyday interactions and areas of expertise. We’re counting on the UNT community during this two-month campaign to collectively take active steps to mitigate the environmental impact of UNT, foster a greener campus environment, minimize our carbon footprint, and reduce climate change effects. Together, the UNT community has the resources, infrastructure, dedication, and intellect to cultivate a more eco-friendly campus community which will ultimately benefit the quality of life and experience of UNT students, staff, and faculty. 

Submit your event or activity proposal by January 15, 2021


8 Rs of Reducing Waste

8 Rs of Reducing Waste: Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle, Reform, Recruit


UNT’s 2021 Campus Race to Zero Waste Campaign will be segmented into eight weeks of thematic education and programming. Each week of the campaign will feature one of the 8 Rs of Reducing Waste: Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle, Reform, and Recruit. The first six Rs identify a chronological order in which we can replace our waste creation habits with resourceful habits before choosing to toss something into the landfill. The last two Rs serve as a reminder to evaluate our place and role in communities and consider how we can advocate for systems-level change to reduce unnecessary consumption and waste production within our society. Each week of our Campus Race to Zero Waste will feature social media challenges, waste reduction tips, engaging activities, and educational events focused on one of the 8 Rs to inspire the UNT community to get involved in creating a more sustainable campus and a healthier planet. 

Read more about each of the 8 Rs of Reducing Waste


Inspiration for Potential Collaborators

Scrappy locking his bike for zero-waste transportation

Our goal is to make a reduced-waste lifestyle inclusive, accessible, and achievable for all by introducing waste reduction strategies that are not only relevant but easy and affordable to adopt. Below are some topic examples of events or activities that we invite you to host during Campus Race to Zero Waste. Not only will you have the opportunity to extend outreach about your role or the work you do on campus, but you’ll be part of a movement to mold UNT community members into responsible global citizens who will defend and protect the land, water, and air we depend on for life

Submit your event or activity proposal by January 15, 2021

Event, Program, & Activity Ideas
  • careers in waste reduction and sustainability webinar or panel
  • cooking with food scraps workshop
  • donating
  • community and urban planning
  • eco-friendly office spaces
  • environmental justice advocacy
  • environmental justice and landfills
  • film showing and discussion panel
  • gardening
  • green energy
  • historic restoration
  • hydroponics and aquaponics
  • LEED buildings webinar
  • leftover meal makeover workshop
  • natural dye techniques
  • Netflix watch party
  • plastic bag recycling home challenges
  • proper chemical disposal
  • recycling right trivia
  • reducing food waste
  • reducing waste during the pandemic group discussion
  • refurbishing furniture
  • reusable packaging and holiday wrapping
  • reuse art
  • setting achievable waste reduction goals
  • sustainability majors
  • sustainable engineering
  • sustainable fashion
  • sustainable food production
  • sustainable gifting
  • sustainable 'move out'
  • thrifting
  • veganism and vegetarianism
  • video tour of sustainable campus facilities
  • virtual guest speaker or sustainability expert
  • virtual jeopardy composting and vermicomposting
  • virtual repair workshop (bikes, clothes, etc.)
  • virtual scavenger hunt
  • waste and climate change
  • waste reduction in sports and athletics
  • waste reduction strategies for on the go eating
  • zero waste dorm living
  • zero waste event planning and celebrations
  • zero waste grocery shopping and cooking
  • zero waste living webinar
  • zero waste menstruation
  • zero waste on the go
  • zero waste travel


Review last year’s Campus Race to Zero Waste efforts: