Major league sports franchises have traditionally been symbols of strength and pride, inspiring and entertaining the masses for generations. More recently, top tier leagues have been adopting a new symbol of recognition: sustainability. Spearheaded by efforts from the Green Sports Alliance, a growing number of soccer, hockey, basketball, football, baseball, lacrosse teams and tennis and golf venues are now making environmental issues a top priority.
The Alliance’s goal is to bring sports organizations and environmental experts together in order to improve the environmental performance of sports facilities and operations. They are hosting their second annual Green Sports Summit in Seattle, Washington on September 5-7th and have arranged workshops on sustainable facility operations, innovative concession solutions, and much more. The Alliance’s website boasts a newsfeed (which I have been frequenting) and a featured member spotlight, currently of the Philadelphia Eagles, who have been tackling their waste generation head on, boasting a 99% landfill diversion rate, among other outstanding achievements.
Large sporting events generate large amounts of waste from the many thousands of food and drink containers thrown away, to the energy consumed with the powering and lighting of the stadiums and transporting of the teams and fans. It makes me extremely optimistic to see these teams taking steps to address these concerns kudos to the Green Sports Alliance for being the vehicle of this change. I am especially curious to see what kind of changes will come to concession stands at baseball parks and football stadiums in the coming years. Will hot dogs and cracker jacks be a thing of the past, replaced by locally sourced minimally packaged kale and zucchini chips?
This kind of collaboration is a new source of pride and inspiration from sports teams that will foster environmental activism from a widespread fan base all whilst rooting for your home team.