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How Sports Can Make Sustainability a Mainstream Issue

In his recent article at Ensia, Kellen Klein articulates the outreach potential of sports teams and leagues to engage with fans on sustainability issues. Illustrating the power of spectator sports to raise consciousness and help affect change, Klein showcases the work of the Green Sports Alliance and other organizations working to use sports as a vehicle for improving building practices and educating fans about best practices in their daily lives.

Using examples such as Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Klein addresses the ability of newly designed stadiums and arenas to reduce the environmental impacts of hosting sporting events—and also the ability of these venues to educate fans through their sustainable features. Because sports engage so many fans throughout the world, they have a unique ability to set trends and engage large audiences.

Sustainability within sports organizations serves to reduce the ecological footprint of athletic events, as teams and leagues communicate best practices and spur each other to continue striving for improvement. But, Klein shows, “the green sports movement offers a gateway to sustainable behavior change on the societal scale.”

 

Read the full article here.

Amalie Arena Installs Hydroponic Garden

Amalie Arena, home of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, has introduced an outdoor hydroponic garden outside of the facility that is being used to grow produce for foodservice operations inside the arena. Using a stacking system to maximize production in the 80-foot by 14-foot garden space, the new garden effectively provides one acre of farming space to provide fruits and vegetables for immediate consumption at the arena. The system maximizes growing space while minimizing water and nutrient usage through a system that collects excess runoff and returns it to storage tanks for future use.

Amalie Arena executive chef Rich Mathis has already been able to incorporate some of the offerings from lettuces to vegetables to herbs, which started to sprout in late August, into menu items in premium seating areas as well as for Lightning players and coaches during team meals. “Not only is it fresher but the flavor is much more intense the way we’re growing it here hydroponically,” Mathis said.

Read the full article here.

Detroit Lions Partner with REPREVE on #TurnItGreen Initiative

The Detroit Lions opened training camp practices on August 6 wearing green jerseys instead of the familiar red practice jerseys. The jerseys, each of which was composed from REPREVE fibers created from 21 recycled plastic bottles, kicked off the #TurnItGreen sustainability campaign in partnership with REPREVE manufacturers Unifi, Inc. As part of the initiative, Detroit is targeting a 100 percent recycling rate at Ford Field this season. To help achieve this goal, Unifi and the Lions have installed 500 recycling bins throughout the stadium.

Along with the team’s commitment to improving waste diversion at Ford Field, the campaign also includes a call to fans to increase recycling efforts outside of the stadium. The “Make the Smart Throw” campaign will educate fans about the importance of reducing landfill waste and the ways in which these products can be recycled to create new products.

“Recycling is critical, yet surprisingly only 30 percent of plastic bottles are recycled in the U.S., significantly less than other countries,” explained Unifi president and CEO Roger Berrier. “Together with the Detroit Lions, we are working to highlight the ease of in-stadium recycling and showcase the benefits of recycling.”

Read more about Detroit’s partnership with REPREVE here.

Read more about the #TurnItGreen campaign here.

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