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Winners announced for Elon’s annual waste reduction competition

Students, staff and faculty receive awards for participating in Phoenix Cup Waste, a competition to reduce landfill waste. 

Elon University is recognizing students, faculty and staff who have taken strong steps to reduce landfill waste through its Phoenix Cup Waste competition. 

Earning prizes for participating in Phoenix Cup Waste are:

  • Louisa Sholar '20
  • Ginny Brown, the program assistant for annual giving 
  • Joy Stewart '20
  • Amanda Chunco, assistant professor of environmental studies
  • Sophia Tasselmyer '20
  • Aaron Moger, assistant director for video production
  • The "Librarians on Greene" team from the School of Law

Phoenix Cup Waste is a competition that rewards participants for learning about and adopting habits that reduce landfill waste. The competition ran Feb. 13 through March 3 and was open to the entire Elon community.  

“These three weeks were a great reminder that small actions can have a large impact,” said Stewart.  Stewart and Chunco won the $100 Phoenix Cash prize for participating in all three weeks of the competition.

Sholer and Brown earned the most points during the competition. Tasselmyer and Moger produced the least amount of landfill waste during the competition. 

Participants earned points by participating in sustainable behaviors and educational events. “The competition is about more than the environment.  It’s about connecting people to the environmental and social impacts of our daily decisions and applying that information to take action where we can,” said Jessica Bilecki, assistant director for education and outreach in the Office of Sustainability.

Going beyond simply participating in the competition herself, Chunco integrated it into lessons being learned in the classroom. “I can’t believe it has taken me five years to participate in Phoenix cup," she said. "It was a great experience. I also had my students participate for homework, and we had great discussions about sustainability after we all submitted our surveys each week. I will definitely be doing this with my classes in the future.”

Sholar commented, “Participating in Phoenix Cup Waste was a valuable experience because I learned more about unsustainable practices in engaging and informative ways. The tasks I completed were simple and straightforward, but the amount of impact was substantial.” 

Brown noted how the competition put waste in a global context. “Participating in the Phoenix Cup increased my awareness of recycling efforts both at Elon and around the world," she said. "The movies and videos we watched were so enlightening and powerful.”

Brown is referring to "Waste Land," a film purposefully screened during Phoenix Cup as part of the Global Neighborhood Film Series, and other short films about clothing and material consumption.

Teams of individuals and neighborhoods also participated. Danieley Neighborhood will have a donation made in their name to a sustainability related charity for having the most residents participate. "Librarians on Greene" from the Elon School of Law continue their winning record by earning the most points as well as producing the least amount of landfill waste. They were followed in close second by library rivals, "Belk Bin Minders" and "Tiny Dancers" in third.


Owen Covington,
3/20/2017 3:50 PM