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Green Athletics Conference Encourages Sustainability in Sports

By The Miami Hurricane.com

2018.11.20-Green Athletics Conference-IMAGE


Students and employees gathered at the University of Miami’s Schwartz Center on Nov. 7 for the annual Green Athletics Conference. The event brought speakers onto campus who shared their experiences and taught attendees how to increase sustainability in collegiate athletics.

This year, the speakers were Jeff King, vice president of facilities at the Miami Marlins stadium, and Dave Newport, director of the environmental center at the University of Colorado Boulder. In their speeches, they both shed light on the recent strides in sustainability initiatives.

Here in Miami, Jeff King has been working to transform the way the Marlins do business. The baseball team has significantly lowered its waste production and now recycles a high percentage of its output. Since 2013, the Marlins have consistently had the lowest waste production of any team in the eastern conference, and ranked sixth among all MLB teams in recycling efforts.

But King said the Marlins are not stopping there.

“Just over a year ago we had a change of ownership,” said King. “The previous owner did not care much about our green efforts. We are in the midst of a whole bunch of marketing and rebranding to really begin to promote sustainability.”

The Marlins’ upcoming changes include implementing a waste processing mechanism, which would aim to transform Marlins Park stadium into a zero-waste facility. King also has plans to convert all stadium lights to more energy-efficient LED lights.

“This will not just be a great start for the Marlins, but for Miami as well,” King said.

However, King also described the problems that his team has faced in their mission to make athletics more sustainable.

“One of our challenges is that our population in South Florida really hasn’t adopted the culture of recycling yet,” he said.

Read the full article here.

What’s that Green Thing on Top of Georgia State Stadium?

By , The Signal

Photo by Jerell Rushin | The Signal

Photo by Jerell Rushin | The Signal

Sanford Stadium on the University of Georgia campus has its hedges. Georgia State Stadium on Georgia State’s campus has a garden sprouting on its rooftop.

The Panthers play in one of college football’s leading stadiums in environmental sustainability. The year-old stadium made Georgia State one of three finalists for the United States Gypsum Corporation (USG) NACDA Sustainability Award, given by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USG.

The award is given to universities who incorporate “sustainable practices and materials into their athletics facilities.” Georgia State did not win the award but still received $10,000 in USG merchandise to put towards athletic and academic buildings.

One of Georgia State’s student organizations, the Student Environmental Team (SET), is building the garden and has optimistic goals for the future. SET member Gina Sheridan said the club will use the garden to provide educational opportunities for students and the Georgia State Athletics staff. It will engage the community by letting them grow in the garden, providing them the opportunity to improve their agricultural literacy.

“It could allow people who work in this building to have their own part of the garden if they’re interested in that,” Sheridan said. “It could possibly inspire them to take more sustainable approaches to their building as well and perhaps recycle more, compost food waste more. Anything like that to get them thinking more.”

The garden isn’t bustling like New York City’s streets on a Monday morning yet, but Sheridan said having a garden space has been a goal of SET’s for more than four years. SET finally broke through in 2018, and though it was a strenuous, it was well worth the wait. Sheridan expects to start growing this fall.

“It involved a lot of going from person to person and finding out where’s a good space for us, who’s in charge of this space,” Jessica Jones, acting SET president in 2017, said. “Then after that, we petitioned with the Office of Sustainability and whoever would listen as to why we should have this space and what we would do with it.”

Read the full article here.

Pac-12 Networks Air Green-Themed Public Service Announcements

By Lew Blaustein, GreenSportsBlog

GreenSportsBlog believes that, for the Green-Sports movement to scale, it needs to go beyond engaging fans at stadia and arenas. That’s because most people don’t go to games. Rather, they consume sports on TV, on mobile devices, and more. To maximize its impact, Green-Sports messaging must be broadcast to those fans.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened much yet. Until the Pac-12 Networks began airing green-themed Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on their college football broadcasts this season.

Legendary Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and broadcaster Bill Walton is famous for calling the Pac-12the “Conference of Champions!”

He’s right: Pac-12 members Stanford and UCLA rank first and second in most NCAA championships won across all sports — Walton added two to UCLA’s total during the early 1970s. Arizona State and USC have been at the top of the college baseball world, Oregon has dominated track and field (athletics) and Washington has among the best rowing programs in the nation. Arizona, Cal-Berkeley, Colorado, Oregon State, Utah and Washington State have had their moments in the sun, too.

The Pac-12 is also well on its way to being a Green-Sports champion:

Read the full article here.

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