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The Smith Center took on a different look during the Jan. 30 men’s basketball game against Boston College. The usual wall-to-wall Carolina Blue was dotted with big pockets of green as students donned bright green T-shirts decorated with the Carolina logo to bring awareness to campus sustainability efforts.

Students in the student section as well as the pep band, dance team, cheerleaders and Rameses all “turned it green” by wearing the REPREVE® T-shirts, each made from 15 recycled plastic bottles.

The University and North Carolina-based Unifi, Inc., makers of the shirts, have collaborated since 2014 to raise awareness among students, faculty and staff, fans and alumni about recycling. Together, REPREVE and UNC Athletics have recycled more than 250,000 plastic bottles through REPREVE events alone.


Brad Ives, associate vice chancellor for campus enterprises, jokes with Roger Berrier, President and CEO of Unifi prior to the Turn-it-Green game in the Smith Center.


Earlier in the week, UNC Athletics released a comprehensive report outlining recent sustainability initiatives throughout the department and across campus, including a University-wide 12 percent increase in collected recycling materials. The report highlights UNC Athletics’ work with REPREVE plus other sustainability efforts, including:

  • More recycling bins at athletic events;
  • Using reclaimed water for athletic fields, with a projected savings of 10 million gallons of potable water annually; and
  • Installing low-flow toilets that reduce water consumption by up to 30 percent per flush.

“Our collaboration with REPREVE is a perfect representation of the University’s commitment to sustainability,” said Bubba Cunningham, director of athletics. “The goals of Unifi and REPREVE’s initiatives align seamlessly with ours as we work to continue increasing our green efforts across campus.”

The full sustainability report is posted on Cunningham praised the department’s efforts and acknowledged its goal to build on that progress.


Rameses playfully prepares to take the green cap from a Carolina student. Students donned green shirts and caps, which were provided by Repreve, for the game in recognition of campus sustainability efforts.


“Whether through responsible waste management, community volunteerism, energy-efficiency initiatives, alternative fuel vehicles or reclaimed water infrastructure, we seek to incorporate sustainable practices into our operations and actions,” he said. “With this inaugural UNC Athletics Sustainability Report, we hope to celebrate our successes, educate about sustainability initiatives and inspire all Tar Heels through action and example.”

For information about joint #TurnItGreen efforts between UNC and REPREVE, see

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