Seven of the Greenest US Sports Teams

The local sports team is unlikely to be one of the first organizations people think of when they imagine taking a strong environmental stand. However, a number of teams around the United States have begun to take measures to use clean energy and otherwise produce less of a negative impact on the environment. Here are some of the most environmentally friendly sports teams currently playing, as well as the green initiatives they have taken.

San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers are ranked amongst the most environmentally friendly teams in the world according to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDS). The team’s new stadium is powered almost entirely by solar energy, and also has advanced water conservation and waste disposal implementation. In addition, before fans even get the stadium they can ride one of the many convenient forms of public transit, or take the designated bicycle route to cut down on carbon emissions from vehicles.

Cleveland Indians: The Indians prove that you do not need a brand new facility to cut down on damage to the environment. The team recently outfitted its old stadium with a brand new recycling program that has cut the amount of trash produced in half, reduced the number of trash pickups, and saved the team a lot of money.
St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals launched their “4 a Greener Game” program in 2008. The program introduced recycling as well as composting to the stadium. Since the plan was put in place, the Cardinals have recycled more than 3000 tons of organic waste in the form of yard waste and food.

Los Angeles Lakers: Sunny Los Angeles is a great place for solar energy. The Laker’s Staples Center has a roof covered in solar panels. They supply the center with between five and twenty percent of its total power for the year. Not bad for a multi-purpose facility that is in use almost constantly.

San Francisco Giants: The Giant’s AT&T park has a state of the art irrigation system. Using an exact irrigation clock that changes the amount of water being used on the field based on local up-to-the-minute meteorological data, the Giants have made watering the grass nearly 50 times more efficient.

University of Minnesota Golden Gophers: The Golden Gophers deserve a special mention for being one of the greenest college teams anywhere in the United States. Their stadium was built out of 97 percent recycled material, and have been working on implementing mass transit options for fans.

Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers: These two teams - basketball and hockey respectively - share Philips Arena in Atlanta, so they both get credit for the green initiatives put forth by their home facility. Philips Arena has on site recycling and composting, as well as energy and water saving bathrooms and kitchen facilities, giving it a good all-around score on environmental protection.
People are unlikely to stop rooting for their favorite team just because they do not have environmentally friendly practices. However, if your favorite team is on the list of the greenest, it just might give you another reason to be proud of them.

Please contact Ella Gray with any questions at ella.l.gray@gmail.com.


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