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Green Scene: Student athletes take action one shoe at a time

by Laura Patterson, co-president, Student Athletes Taking Action, and member of the UofL women's lacrosse team last modified Apr 09, 2014 04:30 PM

Athletes on campus talk about power in the weight room by how fast they can move a heavy barbell during a front squat. Hardly ever do they talk about a different kind of power athletes have: social power.

At the University of Louisville, we have one of the strongest fan bases. People look up to our athletes and admire the example they set in their lives as they demonstrate dedication, discipline and passion through their sport. Athletes work individually to become impact players on the field or court, and now, as a member of the Louisville lacrosse team and co-president of the new group Student Athletes Taking Action, I am challenging myself and the athletes around me to become impact players in the game of life.

One way to do this is to support this month’s “Cards Go Green” campaign. We are promoting and raising awareness about the power every one of us has to make an ecological impact here in Louisville by encouraging our fans to adopt sustainable activities.

Fans who attend the April 12 home softball game (noon start), and the April 17 home women’s lacrosse game (4 p.m. start)  are asked to bring unwanted shoes to donate to WaterStep. This nonprofit uses the shoes to help finance clean water projects around the world. In addition, representatives from organizations such as Green BEAN Delivery, Bicycling for Louisville and the Sustainability Council will be on hand to talk to fans and athletes about their work.

 At a fundamental level we need a stable climate, fresh air and fresh water to play the sports we love.  There is a movement happening across the nation as students and corporations embrace environmental stewardship. The power to make a sustainable impact is in our hands as we begin the journey to becoming one of the top universities in the nation. Sport is a grand unifier. Games bring together teams and fans to work for a common goal: victory. Now sustainability will tie us together as we realize that, united, we can create a culture shift that will change the world.

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