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Blog Archives

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

Target Field Honored as one of the ‘Greenest Ballparks in America’

By Rochelle Olson, Star Tribune

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Saving those leftover brats, burgers and chicken breasts from Target Field has helped the Minnesota Twins hit gold.

The team learned Saturday that Target Field achieved gold LEED certification for building operations.

The seven-year-old Minneapolis ballpark already had silver certification through LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED is the nation’s leading program in design, construction and high-performance green buildings.

Jase Miller, manager of ballpark operations for the Minnesota Twins, said fans should be proud of helping to make Target Field the greenest ballpark in America. “Together, we’ve kept thousands of tons of trash out of local landfills,” he said. “That’s a huge win not just for Target Field, but for the whole community.”

For the past five years, the Twins have donated unused food to local charities, including 213,622 cased meats, 34,488 hamburgers and 16,599 chicken breasts.

Beer cups, plates and nacho trays were part of 300 tons of trash converted to compost.

Target Field is the first to use Arc, a digital platform, to track sustainability, the team announced. With Arc, the Twins are able to track and increase alternative transportation, energy and water efficiency, waste diversion and recycling.

Through “aggressive recycling” and waste-to-energy programs, the Twins have kept more than 8,200 tons of waste out of local landfills since 2011, the team said. Some 3,213 tons have been recycled, while 2,755 have been sent to the nearby Hennepin Energy Recovery Center and 2,288 tons of organics have been composted, according to a news release.

The team hopes to improve those numbers this year with better equipment and training.

Team President Dave St. Peter said the team wants to honor “the power of sport to inspire, build the best fan experience and cause no unnecessary harm.”

Read the full story here.

D-Backs to Celebrate Earth Day Tomorrow

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The D-backs will celebrate Earth Day tomorrow by incorporating messaging for fans throughout the game on how they can help live a more sustainable lifestyle at the ballpark and at home. Many of the in-game activities will be centered around Earth Day, including the D-backs Match game, a dbTV game which will feature cards displaying how fans can be more environmentally responsible, and an Inning of Winning, in which a fan will try to recycle as many plastic bottles as possible. The D-backs Legends Race will include the Legends cleaning up recyclables as they run and throughout the game, the D-backs will showcase some of their sustainability efforts.

This Sunday, the D-backs will give away a reusable D-backs Water Bottle to the first 5,000 kids, courtesy of Smile Generation, to further educate young fans on the benefits of reducing waste and becoming more environmentally friendly.

New in 2017, the D-backs have taken great strides to make Chase Field and D-backs games a more environmentally-friendly experience for fans, including:

  • In partnership with Waste Management, the D-backs added 200 dual recycling bins throughout all concourses; each bin is made with 1,300 recycled milk jugs
  • Replaced paper towel dispensers with 50 high-efficiency hand dryers in concourse restrooms, which will reduce over 1,000 miles of paper towels from the annual waste stream
  • Retrofitted 425 toilets and 260 urinals with low-flow flush valves, reducing water usage in these areas by 50%
  • In partnership with Levy Restaurants and Waste Management, the D-backs launched a compost program to collect organics from ballpark kitchens

The D-backs continue to make sustainability a priority, and over the years have incorporated the following changes to positively affect environmental change:

  • D-backs’ Spring Training complex, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, was the first LEED Gold-certified sports venue of its kind in the United States
  • The APS Solar Pavilion, which covers 17,280 square feet above the Chase Field plaza near the ballpark’s western entrances and ticket office, provides extra shade over the ballpark’s heaviest used entrances and generates 100,000 kWh of solar energy; enough electricity to power the lights at Chase Field for 11 home games
  • The Arizona Diamondbacks are proud members of the Green Sports Alliance, a groundbreaking coalition of professional sports teams and sporting venues committed to promoting “greening initiatives” in sports.
  • Fans with electric powered vehicles can charge their cars at one of the three electric car charging stations located at the northwest corner of 4th Street and Jackson
  • Completed this past off-season, all concourse lighting, administrative parking, player parking and ballpark parking garages have been converted to energy-efficient LED, resulting in 60% savings in power consumption annually
  • Utilize a Building Management System for timely and efficient control of facility lighting and cooling, further reducing energy consumption
  • Over the past 4 seasons, the D-backs and Levy Restaurants have donated more than 23 tons of unused concessions food, which equates to roughly 38,000 individual meals
  • All of the disposable cutlery and plates Levy Restaurants uses at Chase Field are recyclable or compostable
  • Full and half-season Season Ticket Holders are issued a reusable “Loyalty Cup” to use for discounted beverage refills which minimizes waste
  • Uniforms worn by D-backs game day staff are made from RPET material, in which 16 recycled bottles contributed to the fabric of each shirt

For more information on D-backs sustainability efforts, visit dbacks.com/green.

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