Have you adopted our society’s new values? Have you adapted to the values of the Green Revolution? Perhaps you have started recycling more diligently, started biking to work or even started your own compost pile outside. But what is being done on the corporate scale? What are the people whom we look up to doing to help? Should our idols be more than just talented individuals? Sports in America are becoming ever more omnipresent and it is time for our largest institutions to start taking responsibility for their environmentally unfriendly practices. How green is your favorite sport?
The NBA jumped on the green bandwagon in 2009 when it created Green Week that takes place around the first week of April. Green Week includes in-game announcements about eco-events, reminders to recycle and other eco-friendly tips and information. Green Week a products of NBA Green: the brain child of NBA Cares, a division of the NBA dedicated to involving players and organizations in community service projects to enhance the areas in which they operate. NBA Cares has been active in local communities for years and Green Week is an extension of those values and priorities.
Individual efforts are being made by NBA teams as well. In fact, the New Jersey Nets have become the first carbon neutral team by increasing energy and water efficiency, increasing recycling, improving environmental conditions indoors and using only recycled paper and green cleaning products. The New Jersey example has inspired teams in Portland, Miami and Orlando to reduce their carbon footprints as well. Additionally, the NBA season tipped off with every player on all 30 teams outfitted in Adidas’ Revolution 30 uniforms – uniforms made from 60% recycled materials.
Along with the NBA, the NFL has made strides towards carbon neutralization. In 2007, the Detroit Lions played the Green Bay Packers in the league’s first carbon neutral game. And this past opening day featured a "Solar Bowl" between the Washington Redskins and the Arizona Cardinals in the partially solar powered FedEx Field. The ‘Skins stadium features 8,000 solar panels that double as a shaded parking venue in a portion of its parking lot. The panels provide 100% of the Field's power on non-game days and 20% of power at kickoff. With the solar panels, the Redskins stadium is also home to 10 electric car charging stations to encourage fans to drive green.
A newcomer to the green scene is another of America’s most popular sports: NASCAR. Nascar’s new green agenda includes increased recycling of used fuel, oil filters, fluorescent light bulbs, and metal shavings. The organization hopes that increased awareness will not only attract fans but also eco-conscious advertisers to the sport. Some motorways have installed solar panels while other have started planting trees and using sheep as infield lawnmowers. However, perhaps Nascar’s most compelling initiative has been promoting Sunoco Green E 15 ethanol blend as its official gasoline. With the proliferation of racing fans in rural America, hopefully the green trend will spread beyond its current urban roots.