On Earth Day, MLB’s efforts in (LED) spotlight

From the new LED field lighting at Camden Yards to the electric vehicle charging stations at SunTrust Park; from the new Green Team at Progressive Field to fresh landscaping around Dodger Stadium; from Boston’s carbon-neutral game to the garden at Safeco Field; from the Rays’ efforts to help oyster reefs to the eighth annual Green Week in St. Louis, Major League Baseball and all 30 of its clubs are ready to celebrate environmental stewardship on Earth Day.

What happens 365 days a year becomes more of a happening on Saturday, as more than one billion people will participate in Earth Day activities with a focus on raising awareness and civic involvement. MLB on Thursday announced plans by citing increasing examples of league-wide sustainability efforts, including extensive plans for All-Star Week in Miami.

“We are pleased with the diverse and effective environmental initiatives we will implement throughout this Championship Season,” said Paul Hanlon, MLB’s senior director of ballpark operations and sustainability. “We also are very grateful for the commitment by the MLB clubs to support sustainability through their own practices. While efforts are ongoing, we are proud of what we have accomplished thus far and look forward to continuing to care for our environment through new and creative ways.”

MLB is the first league to have all of its 30 clubs as members of the Green Sports Alliance, which promotes healthy, sustainable communities in sports. Each year, MLB awards the eco-friendliest club with its Green Glove Award, given to the Giants in 2016 for the ninth straight time. Clubs emphasize sustainability efforts through waste diversion, composting and energy-efficient practices throughout the season; this includes many clubs with comprehensive on-site gardens, Green Teams to collect recyclables, LED field lighting and solar panel installations.

Nine Major League parks operate their own garden: AT&T Park, Busch Stadium, Citi Field, Coors Field, Fenway Park, Nationals Park, Camden Yards, Progressive Field and Safeco Field. The gardens at AT&T Park, Busch Stadium, Fenway Park, Coors Field, Nationals Park, Progressive Field and Safeco Field are all utilized to source food for concession stands and restaurants at the ballpark. They are also used as a teaching tool to inform the public about the importance of their local environment and serve as fan gathering spots throughout a game.

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