I grew up playing baseball (in Little League I was, briefly, known as Home Waylon), collected baseball cards (I had four or five Mark McGuire rookie cards) and learned the lore of my family’s beloved Yankees (ah, Gehrig, the tragic Iron Horse) from a young age. Baseball, in so many ways, represents the best of old timey America—when things were slower, when our sports had an art to them, when hustle and character trumped steroids and DHs. And so I was glad to see a strong list of recent accomplishments by Major League Baseball teams in “going green.” While we may all have heard 200 stores about this and that “going green,” it’s important to remember than when mainstream organizations are trying to get eco-responsible in innovative, stylish ways, it’s a sign that we’re not forgetting the fate and inheritance of our grandchildren’s grandchildren (who one day may play Little League).
Excerpt via ENN & Low Impact Living.
Washington Nationals – This team has a upper hand over the rest of the them, with a new stadium that is LEED Silver certified. It has a green roof over the concession area, water saving urinals, stormwater infiltration and many energy efficient systems. Located very close to DC metro stations with an impressive recycling program, the Nationals Stadium is the greenest in the country.
Pittsburgh Pirates – The Pirates started off their green efforts with their “Let’s Go Bucs. Let’s Go Green” campaign plastered everywhere around the stadium and especially on their recycling receptacles. In fact, in 2008, the Pittsburgh Pirates recycled 5,913 pounds of aluminum cans, 33,547 pounds of plastic. The Pirates Let’s Go Green page on their website details all of their current efforts.
Seattle Mariners – Joining forces with Cedar Grove Composting, the Mariners have started a program to compost their waste and have switched their food service items to compostable products and are aiming to become the first zero waste team. They also have implemented many projects to reduce energy use, have a recycling program, and they offset some of their carbon emissions with Native Energy.
Boston Red Sox – The Red Sox and Colorado Rockies have installed a solarsystem in the stadium to generate power. The Red Sox’s system displaces 37% of their gas energy usage to heat water. They have also implemented a strong recycling program, with a team of people who go around the stadium collecting recyclables.
Houston Astros – The Astros have a lot green initiatives underway, like tree plantings, equipment that runs off biodiesel, recycling and education programs, use of eco-friendly fertilizers on the field and composting of grass clippings, water monitoring devices for the field, and much more. Each year they add to their list of initiatives at Minute Maid Park and even have their players Hunter Pence and Geoff Blum as a spokesmen for their environmental projects.
St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals also have a strong list of green initiatives, including biodegradable concession items, a recycling program with a dedicated team who picks up after games, 100% recycled content toilet paper, and green cleaning products. The Cardinals are also an EPA Energy Star Partner and are working towards developing an energy efficiency plan.