SBD/Issue 149/Sports & Society

Several MLB Teams Celebrating Earth Day With Green Initiatives

Astros To Give Away 10,000 Earth Day Hats
Made From Recycled Plastic
Several MLB teams today will celebrate Earth Day with environmentally-friendly initiatives. The Astros will launch the ’09 edition of their Play Green campaign, a series of environmental efforts to be held by the team. The club, which started the campaign last year, will host the Dodgers at Minute Maid Park in green caps bearing its Play Green logo, give away 10,000 replicas of the green Astros cap made from recycled plastic, participate in the construction of an energy-efficient Habitat for Humanity home in Houston, purchase renewable energy credits to offset power consumption at tonight’s game, offer half-price tickets to local metro riders, and stage an environmental expo at the ballpark, among other efforts (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).

GREEN ACRES: The Mariners, in conjunction with Cedar Grove Composting, will stage MLB’s first Zero Waste Game as they host the Rays at Safeco Field. The Mariners are offering discounted tickets for tonight’s game, during which almost all food service items will be made of compostable materials. After the game, a group of volunteers will search the park to collect any recyclable or compostable items. Also, the Pirates for this afternoon’s contest against the Marlins at PNC Park will host several environmentally-friendly events as part of their “Let’s Go Bucs. Let’s Go Green” campaign. The ballpark will use 100% renewable energy for today’s game, as the team and Hess Corporation will match every dollar spent on electricity with an equal amount spent on natural energy resource development. The Pirates also are launching a season-long partnership with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, under which a tree will be planted around the city for each home run hit by a Pirates player at PNC Park. The Nationals today will offer a $3 discount on any ticket priced at $10 or more to fans who present a Metro farecard or SmarTrip card at the Nationals Park box office. Meanwhile, the D’Backs have hired Phoenix-based Green Ideas Environmental Building Consultants to help enact green practices at Chase Field, with the intent of achieving LEED certification before hosting the ’11 MLB All-Star Game (THE DAILY). The first 20,000 fans to arrive at AT&T Park for today’s Padres-Giants game will receive a free reusable, fabric grocery bag. The ballpark also is working toward LEED certification. In addition, every fan at tonight’s Tigers-Angels game at Angel Stadium will receive a team banner made of recycled materials, while fans who bring a recyclable item to the game will receive a free gift (MLB.com, 4/22). MLB.com’s online store is selling several Earth Day-inspired items, including a Mariners recycled cap, a White Sox solar lantern and an Astros organic toddler T-shirt (MLB.com, 4/22).

Toyota Camry Hybrid Will Serve As Pace
Car For Coca-Cola 600 On May 24
FUEL EFFICIENT: USA TODAY’s Nate Ryan notes the Toyota Camry Hybrid will serve as the pace car for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway (LMS) on May 24, the first time NASCAR has used a hybrid pace car for the entire race. In order to satisfy NASCAR requirements, the car had to be able to reach 100 mph by the exit of Turn 2. Driver Denny Hamlin, who promoted the Camry effort yesterday at LMS, said, “I’d prefer a stock car in knowing how exciting it is to hear the engine roar, but I think NASCAR drivers are embracing the green outlook of hybrids” (USA TODAY, 4/22). In Charlotte, Jim Utter notes the Camry Hybrid also will be used as the pace car at five other Sprint Cup races this season (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 4/22).

NOTES: To commemorate Earth Day, the NFL has partnered with the Florida State Division of Forestry to plant trees in several Florida cities between last season’s Super Bowl XLIII host city Tampa, and Super Bowl XLIV host Miami. Seven tree plantings will take place this week, starting today in Tampa (Buccaneers)….Global Spectrum is implementing new energy-cost saving initiatives at the more than 80 arenas, stadiums and other facilities the company manages. The Wachovia Center, in the midst of an LEED audit, uses single-stream recycling and will sell back its unused power. Also, the Univ. of Phoenix Stadium is investigating the use of chemical-free water treatment (Global Spectrum).

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