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Monthly Archives: May 2017

Easy Steps to Green, Sustainable Procurement | by EnvirOx

Guest Blog Post By Haley Snow, Marketing & Communications Manager, EnvirOx

You may not realize it, but there’s one surprising part of your staff that makes a huge contribution to the green-ness of your venue. It’s your custodial crew! These folks work hard every day to ensure that visitors to your venue have a clean, safe, healthy place to enjoy their favorite sports. Yes, cleaning is indeed a healthcare business!

And yet, custodial staff face dangerous working conditions, often due to harsh, toxic chemicals and inefficient and wasteful equipment or processes. 6% of all custodians are injured on the job each year due to chemical exposure and the janitorial industry is one of 5 industries that account for 20% of all work injuries. So how do we protect our custodial crew and PLAY GREENER ™?

Photo Credit: pexels.com

Photo Credit: pexels.com

Good news! All of these potential problems can be solved with a good green cleaning program. Greener cleaning methods and products can improve the health and safety of everyone in your venue as well as improve your environmental footprint. Specifically, green cleaning products can improve your indoor air quality, remove toxins and reduce waste. This becomes even more important in a sports environment; how many people walk through your doors every game? Tens of thousands? That’s how many people your cleaning program affects.

Remember; green is a spectrum. Even small changes can make your cleaning program greener. Here’s some quick, easy tips to start selecting green cleaning products for your venue– or at home:

Green Cleaning Certifications

Your Guide to Green Cleaning Product Certifications

  1. Look for green certifications.
    This is the single biggest, easiest improvement you can make. Most janitorial products, from paper to cleaning chemicals to trash can liners, can be Green Certified by a third-party certification company. These companies do all the legwork for you, testing toxicity, environmental impact, performance and results of products that claim to be green. Look for Green Seal, EcoLogo or Design for the Environment logos on products. An important note here; any product with a kill claim (like disinfectants) can’t be green certified, as the EPA regulates those products as pesticides.
  2. Use your vendor’s resources.
    Engage your vendors and suppliers in your efforts– it sends a message to suppliers about what’s important to you. At the very least, they should be able to point you to greener products, and they may even be able to do on-site audits or help you promote your new green cleaning program.
  3. Look at recycled content, biodegradability, VOCs, and safety data sheets.
    A manufacturer or supplier should be able to provide a complete picture of key green features– the features themselves will vary between equipment, chemicals and paper goods, but a vendor should always be able to answer why a product is “green.”
  4. Compare price vs. cost.
    When selecting any product, you always want to compare the upfront price vs. the actual use cost. What this means is you can pay twice the price for a piece of equipment that will last you four times as long as the cheaper version. This cuts the price of operation – the cost per cleaning – in half and saves room in the landfill. The same can be said for concentrated cleaning chemicals over ready-to-use products and microfibers over paper towels. Remember: reduce, reuse, recycle!

Ready to get started? Visit the Green Sports Alliance’s Green Cleaning Playbook for more information. Don’t forget to stop by the EnvirOx booth at the Summit! We’d love to hear how green cleaning is working for your venue or help you get your own green cleaning program off the ground.

References:

http://www.millonpeskin.com/blog/2013/11/the-workplace-dangers-facing-cleaning-and-janitorial-workers.shtml

https://greencleanschools.org/about/why-green-cleaning/

Earth Matters: The Zero-Waste House That Jeter Built

by Susan Hellauer

Birds-eye view of the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Starting with recycled steel and concrete, and diversion of construction waste, the home of the Yankees has become one of Major League Baseball`s greenest operations. Photo courtesy The New York Yankees.

Birds-eye view of the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Starting with recycled steel and concrete, and diversion of construction waste, the home of the Yankees has become one of Major League Baseball`s greenest operations. Photo courtesy The New York Yankees.

It was the hottest ticket in town and I—Yankee fan from my Bronx birth—had snagged one in the left field main deck, thanks to my old friend Wendy, who had a ticket to spare. It was May 14th, Derek Jeter night, and the Yankees honored the 42-year-old former captain and future Hall of Famer by retiring his number (2) and unveiling his Monument Park plaque. The pre-game ceremony—for which all remained standing—was filled with career-spanning clutch-play highlights, Jeter-era Yankee greats, and a Wagner opera’s worth of heroic fanfares.

When the emotional hour-long event was over, the ever-considerate Wendy took all the snack boxes, cups and food wrappers up to discard them. She returned after a long absence looking puzzled: there wasn’t a garbage can to be found anywhere. Finally, she spied a maintenance man pushing a cart, and tossed in the trash.

But that trash in her hands wasn’t trash at all. Rather, it was destined for diversion—to be recycled or composted, never to see a landfill. The new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009 across the street from the now-demolished 1923 House that Ruth Built, was designed from the get-go as a sustainable, zero-waste oasis, and not a daily avalanche of food-related garbage, like most stadiums.

Green from the ground up

Thanks to organizations like the 384-member (and growing) Green Sports Alliance, teams and stadiums of all kinds are making strides toward zero waste. The shift is sparing landfills millions of cubic feet of garbage each year, reducing energy and water use, and cutting down on carbon emissions. And the Bronx’s 47,422-seat Yankee Stadium is one of Major League Baseball’s greenest operations.

There was no need to convert the new stadium to a more sustainable profile: it was all baked in, right from the recycled structural steel and concrete aggregate used in its construction.The 31,000 square-foot Great Hall, through which most guests arrive, is built with massive open-air archways that allow for natural cooling and ventilation: no air conditioning required. The energy savings per game from this alone equals about 125 New York City apartments shutting off their air-conditioning for a summer day.

The savings don’t stop there. The stadium’s ultra-efficient plumbing fixtures spare about 3.1 million gallons of water each year, reducing water use by 22 percent. And automated building controls are calibrated to reduce power consumption of lighting and ventilation systems when not in use.

Read the full post here.

To learn more about Green Sports Alliance membership, contact rahul@greensportsalliance.org

Bike to Work Week is May 15-19, 2017

By our partners at NEEF

2017.05.16-NewsFeed-Bike to Work-IMAGE

May is National Bike Month and May 15-19, 2017 is Bike to Work Week. Between 2000 and 2013, bicycle commuting rates in the United States increased by 62%. Bike commuting rates in large, bicycle-friendly communities – including Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, St. Louis, Portland, and Washington, DC – increased by 105% over the same time period! Need convincing to hop on two wheels? Consider these facts:

  • Cycling benefits your health. Being active outside improves mental and physical well-being. Regular physical activity can reduce the risk for many health conditions, including high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Cycling benefits the environment…and your wallet. Leaving your car behind for even one trip saves fuel and reduces air pollution. In 2015, traffic congestion in the US wasted about three billion gallons of fuel and kept drivers stuck in their vehicles for more than seven billion extra hours! The total cost of all that congestion? $160 billion or $960 per commuter.

Try cycling to work or school just one day this week. Research has shown that the length of about half of all car trips – three miles – can be covered as quickly on a bike when parking and traffic delays are taken into account. These resources will help you on your way:

  • Find National Bike Month and Bike to Work Week events in your community.
  • Get tips for riding safely and performing maintenance on your bike from the League of American Bicyclists.
  • Check the Air Quality Index (AQI) before you head out. When the AQI hits “Code Orange,” sensitive groups, including people with asthma, lung disease or heart disease, may experience health effects from air pollution. When you need to, adjust your outdoor activities to reduce the amount of pollution you breathe in.
  • No bike? Try carpooling or walking to work or school instead.

Read more here.

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