Go, Fight, Green! Is Your Favorite Sport an Eco-Friendly Institution?

“Going green” surely seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days. We talk about going green in our everyday life, politicians talk about green initiatives, tax breaks are given to business large and small for implementing green practices and public relations representatives everywhere are touting how their respective clients are strengthening the green effort. However, this still leaves out on crucial sector of American society: entertainment and specifically, sports. Our favorite American pastimes oftentimes involve participating and watching countless hours of college and professional sports. But how much are these larger than life organizations hurting our environment? You’ll be happy and maybe surprised to know that some of our favorite sports franchises are giving going green the ole college try.

Going green and Nascar may seem an unlikely pair. The sport is inherently centered on consumption. Fast cars burn fossil fuels at a rate that would embarrass any self respecting conservationist. However, Nascar is making the sport as green as it can. Authorities have implemented green initiatives such as collecting used fuel for recycling along with oil filters, fluorescent light bulbs, metal shavings, aluminum and steel. Some raceways are planting a specific number of mature tress per race to offset carbon emissions and still others are using sheep lawnmowers to trim infield grasses.

In addition to Nascar, both the NFL and the NBA are contributing to the cause. The Washington Redskins hosted the Arizona Cardinals at what was lovingly dubbed the “Solar Bowl” on opening weekend. FedEx Field is home to 8,000 solar panels that provide 100% of the stadiums power on non-game days and 20% of power on game days. The solar panels also provide shaded parking in one section of the parking lot.

The NBA has initiated its NBA Green program that organizes an annual Green Week in April of the last three seasons. This year, in addition to Green Week, all 30 teams tipped off the season in Revolution 30 uniforms, made from 60% recycled materials.

Hopefully, as more fans become educated to the green cause, more will demand these types of efforts from their hometown teams. Whether franchieses are building eco-friendly stadiums or using clever green practices for everyday issues like lawn mowing, we are definitely witnessing steps in the right direction.

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