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How can Clemson students live sustainably while honoring an essential football tradition? TRAILGATING

Clemson students are working to reduce their carbon footprint during tailgating activities at Clemson athletic events. And they want others to join the movement.

Laura Good
Creative Services

The tailgating culture at Clemson is huge. Families and friends gather around the trunk of their cars sharing food, playing games and sporting orange — it’s the image of the traditional Clemson football season. But behind this image, a Creative Inquiry team made up of civil engineers and architecture majors saw a problem. Thousands of cars make their way to Death Valley, trash litters the parking lot and football fans end up consuming a lot more energy than they realize. These students saw the problem and found a solution: trailgating.

The concept of “trailgating” is to reduce the carbon footprint of Clemson students and fans while maintaining the traditions associated with school pride and sporting events. During last season’s homecoming game against Boston College, the Creative Inquiry (undergraduate research) team introduced their sustainable and sufficient trailgate. It is a foldout trailer, transported by bike, that includes everything a Clemson tailgater needs — a cooler, grill, table and chairs. But it uses no gas, wastes little energy and takes up a lot less space in the parking lot. The team is currently designing a larger unit to accommodate up to six families.

Carlie Metzger, a member of the Creative Inquiry team, said, “We are trying to encourage Clemson students, alumni and fans to tailgate in a more sustainable manner.”

Said Metzger, “People don’t realize that when everyone starts living sustainably, the impact can be huge.”

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3 responses

  1. This is a really interesting idea. Could the cart have an inexpensive solar panel to power a radio?

    It would be great too if tailgaters were encouraged to bring reusable cups, instead of using single-use, disposable cups that end up in the garbage. Installing centralized waste stations (preferably staffed by a knowledgeable volunteer) would help ensure recycling, composting and garbage were properly sorted.

    Go Tigers!

    – John Watson, Waste Diversion Education Coordinator, Halton Region
    BLOG http://www.haltonrecycles.wordpress.com; TWITTER @HaltonRecycles

    March 16, 2012 at 10:09 am

  2. Reblogged this on The Tasteful Tailgate and commented:
    Yes, yes, yes – more of this, please. So proud of these Clemson students and can’t wait to check this out in person.

    March 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm

  3. A Green Tailgate…love it! Just discovered your blog and am enjoying it so much..

    September 8, 2012 at 5:50 am

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