Yanks, Phillies & World Series Go Green with NRDC
Posted October 28, 2009 in Green Enterprise
This year's World Series won't just be red, white and blue...Major League Baseball, the Phillies and the Yankees are going green.
If the rain holds off tonight, I will find myself at Game 2 tomorrow night at Yankee Stadium with many fellow NRDCers--clad in our MLB World Series Green Team shirts--collecting recyclable plastic bottles from fans and spreading the message about MLB's Team Greening Program. My job at NRDC tends to join environmentalism and sports pretty frequently, so an opportunity to attend the World Series and encourage baseball fans to recycle is a perfect, hands-on example of our sports greening program in practice.
While recycling is a very visible green effort at the World Series, many of the environmental initiatives at the games will take place behind the scenes. For example, one of the biggest issues that will be addressed is energy use - one of the largest contributors to the environmental impacts of an event. Most energy consumed in the US comes from coal and other non-renewable resources that contribute to global warming, but the World Series will instead be powered by clean, renewable energy. Games played at Yankee Stadium will use renewable energy offsets from Bonneville Environmental Foundation, sourcing 100% of the energy from wind farms in North Dakota and Minnesota. Offsetting the games at Yankee Stadium means saving more than 582,000 pounds of CO2 pollution during the four potential games there. Games played at Citizen Bank Park will also all be offset with 100% renewable energy credits from WindStreet Energy.
This isn't the first event where MLB has implemented environmental initiatives --they have been collaborating with NRDC for over three years to green professional baseball at both the League level and in collaboration with individual teams. MLB and NRDC have incorporated environmental initiatives during both the 2008 and 2009 All Star Games, and most MLB teams have adopted environmental programs at their stadiums.
In fact, an impressive array of environmental initiatives are already implemented at both Yankee Stadium and Citizen Bank Park. Here are some of the great things that are already happening at the parks:
- Lighting improvements installed at the new stadium save nearly 207,000 lbs of CO2 emissions per night game
- Low-flow and water efficient plumbing fixtures are projected to save 3.1 million gallons of water per year
- Recycling, compost, and trash bins come in trios throughout the stadium - diverting 40% of stadium waste from landfills
- All concessions cups are made from bio-based, compostable plastic
- All leftover food from each game is donated to shelters, soup kitchens, senior centers, youth programs, and other community food programs throughout the Bronx
- Recycling used cooking oil -- 8,879 gallons of cooking oil from Yankee Stadium have been recycled to create 7,192 gallons of biodiesel fuel
- All bathroom tissue is 100% recycled content
CITIZEN BANK PARK
- Completed an energy audit that identified opportunities for enhanced energy efficiency and have installed lighting and equipment improvements
- Purchased 20 million kwh of renewable energy credits which offset all electricity usage for the park for the 2008 season. According to the EPA, this is the single largest purchase of 100% renewable energy in pro sports.
- Clean energy credits for employee homes. All full-timers, including players and coaches, will get a one-year credit for clean, renewable energy for their home consumption, compliments of the Phillies and WindStreet Energy.
- Reusing rainwater for landscaping and field irrigation
- Local and organic food options
- Recycling used cooking oil for biodiesel fuel
- Recycling program for plastic, aluminum, glass, paper, cardboard is enhanced by "Red Goes Green" team of volunteers, which collect recyclables in the aisles during every game
- Use all bio-based & compostable serviceware and beverage cups, and carryout trays made from 100% postconsumer recycled fiber
So if you're tuning in tonight, look for the NRDC green team roaming up and down the aisles for empty bottles in the distance. And if you're lucky enough to be there in person, keep an eye out for our PSA on the scoreboard during tomorrow's game featuring actor Robert Redford, along with our in-stadium announcements circulating the stadium Ribbon Board. Whoever you're rooting for (or against) - you got to admit each team has earned their green cred.
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