Grade School Children RecycleFootball fans are loyal individuals. Many will sit outside in nasty weather just to witness the talents and skills of their favorite players. Fanatics to the very end they may be, but at every game’s conclusion, there is one winner and actually two losers. While we all might know that we’re not going to get a new planet, it doesn’t discourage us from littering plastic bottles and cups in sports stadiums. After the crowds abandon their seats, it’s unbelievable to see how much waste has accumulated over a few hours. The sad part is that it’s waste that can be recycled and diverted from going to landfills, and for this reason, the Good Sports Always Recycle (GSAR) team exists — to prevent Mother Earth from being the casualty. GSAR has been around for the past 17 years, and now that the football season is back in full swing, it is looking to inspire and challenge Tennessee children in grades K-12. Through September 24, grade school children can nominate their recycling program for a chance at honor and a cash prize. At the end of the competition, 10 schools across the state will be acknowledged for their eco-friendly efforts, and each will receive $500 to improve their existing recycling program. During its first 15-year run, GSAR achieved quite a recycling feat — 8 million plastic cups! According to Steve Lafollette, Division Vice President for Waste Connections, recycling 1 ton of plastic PET bottles eliminates 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space. During the 2009 UT football season, the team recycled 34 tons of recycled materials, so for this year, the goal is 60 tons of waste, or 444 cubic yards of landfill space. In our society, entertainment often wins by a landslide, but GSAR is combining fun with recycling, which encourages kids to be more proactive in their schools and communities. Believe it or not, football is helping to make recycling as exciting as a touchdown pass.