COLUMBUS, Ohio – Off the court, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team is doing what it can to make sustainability a part of its daily routine.
It began with former Buckeye Ashley Wenz, who spent a summer working at The Schottenstein Center on sustainability efforts as a Bucks Go Pro intern. Head coach Geoff Carlston took notice and came to the team with an idea – go green.
“We really just wanted to try to be mindful and make an effort to minimize our waste as a team,” Carlston said. “During the preseason we have the most control, so we focused on eating locally and doing our best to limit our footprint. It was cool to see our team buy in to the idea.”
The athletes came together to brainstorm what they could do to make sustainability a priority and brought their ideas to the program’s director of operations, Caitlin Insana.
Among her many duties, Insana is responsible for coordinating meals for the team, which seemed like the perfect start to their sustainability efforts. She has worked with vendors to eliminate the use of one-time plastic containers and utensils. While grocery shopping, whether here in Columbus or on the road, the team uses reusable bags and paper bags when needed.
Individually, each student-athlete and staff member was given a personalized plate, cup and set of utensils during the first day of the preseason. Every person is responsible for making sure they bring their set of dishes to every meal and that they are cleaned after. They also have eliminated using plastic bottles of water, opting for personal reusable bottles instead.
“It was great to see our athletes and staff come together for such a great project,” Insana said. “This is just a little step towards eliminating our footprint, but it’s a step in the right direction.”
As a university and an athletics department, Ohio State is one of the forerunners in sustainability. Back in January, the Buckeyes were named the Big Ten Diversion Rate Champion for the sixth straight season for achieving the highest diversion rate for a single home football game. Ohio State also has a campus-wide zero waste initiative that looks to divert 90 percent or more of materials from the landfill by recycling, repurposing and composting.