Sustainability in THON™

THON is committed to sustainable practices that will create a healthier planet For the Kids®, For the Planet. We will do this by decreasing our single-use waste and diverting 80% of our waste from the landfills, decreasing supply and waste materials yearly, and diverting 75% of unused food and beverages donated somewhere, diverted from a landfill through composting, or reusing in some capacity.

THON’s Green Fundraising Initiative

TREE:  TREE stands for THON’s Recycling and Environmental Efforts. This is a recycling program that allows your club or organization to raise money for THON. The recycling program takes aluminum cans of any kind (soda, tea, or other). You will be able to pick up bags in the THON office to store the cans in until drop-offs occur. After you've collected a full bag, you will be able to drop them off at a weekly drop-off location. Your organization will get credit for bags you turn in, usually crediting between 50 & 80 cents. The captains will mark down how many bags you bring and later the money will be put into your THON total. This is one of the ways THON is trying to become more sustainable. We are trying to create a better planet for the kids!

Sustainability Positions within the THON Community


Sustainability Outreach Captain

This Sustainability Captain is responsible for progressing THON’s Sustainability Mission throughout the year. They oversee the management and execution of the THON Recycling and Environmental Effort (TREE) throughout the THON community. They work heavily with University contacts, THON organizations, and Sustainability Committee Members year-round to bring awareness to TREE. Additionally, this Captain will be responsible for the development of educational and informational media that increases awareness of THON’s sustainability efforts and will lead an additional committee of Sustainability Ambassadors from each OPPerations Committee.

Keely Reese, Sustainability Outreach Captain

Sustainability Events Captain

This Sustainability Captain is responsible for progressing THON’s Sustainability Mission, working directly beside the outreach captain. They take the lead on waste management at the THON 5K, Family Carnival, and THON Weekend. They are responsible for the development of THON’s waste strategies during all Pre-THON events and THON Weekend. While working beside the Outreach captain, they will help lead the Sustainability Ambassadors Committee of OPPerations.

Ross Zofcin, Sustainability Events Captain


Sustainability & Inter-Committee Liaison Captain

This Captain serves as Hospitality’s chief sustainability expert, educating both Captains and Committee Members on sustainability opportunities. With Hospitality having a growing impact on the sustainability of THON, this Captain will be responsible coordinating with Captains on OPP and SL to author THON’s sustainability mission and set long term goals for the organization.

Alysha Ulrich, Sustainability & Inter-Committee Liaison Captain

Supply Logistics

Sustainability & Supply the Fight Captain

This captain works with other Supply Logistics captains to find alternatives to frequently requested items, find and solicit donors for sustainable materials, and to highlight donors that are committed to sustainability. They specifically work along side the other Supply the Fight Captain to launch and manage this initiative and gather materials frequently needed for THON events and projects.

Madeline Chimento, Sustainability and Supply the Fight Captain
Green Focus Group

Green Focus Group is made up of all sustainability captains from Operations, Hospitality, and Supply Logistics, as well as other guest committees such as Merchandise and Donor and Alumni Relations. This group meets bi-weekly over the summers and before every THON event. They discuss topics like:

The 10-year sustainability plan
Materials to be used at events
Protocols at committee events and THON events
Waste Procedures
Other events

This group investigates THON’s current method and creates more eco-friendly habits that will allow THON to continue for many years in the future while leaving as small of a carbon footprint as possible.

Procedures for all THON Events


  • Waste Stations are planned strategically to make sure that there is no litter

  • GFG meets to go over materials and an announcement is created to inform the public about how to dispose of food items being served and other items being given.

  • Any possible donors looking to contribute sustainable or reusable items are encouraged to do so before the event.


  • Waste Stations are monitored by OPPerations captains to make sure that all trash is sorted correctly in waste cans. Once the cans are full, trash is taken to the correct dumpster. It is weighed and once again sorted to ensure proper disposal.


  • With the weights taken at events, diversion rates are calculated and published publicly.

  • There is a debrief done by GFG and the OPPerations committee to discuss the success of the event and what further steps need to be taken at the next event.