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Blog Archives

D-backs to celebrate Earth Day

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The D-backs will celebrate Earth Day tomorrow starting with a harvest of the D-backs Greens Urban Garden, presented by UnitedHealthcare. The D-backs will also incorporate messaging for fans throughout the game on how they can help live a more sustainable lifestyle at the ballpark and at home. In addition, ASU School of Sustainability Dean Chris Boone will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

D-backs Greens, presented by UnitedHealthCare is a vertical garden visible to both fans and commuters on the exterior of the ballpark. In collaboration with Flower Street Urban Gardens, the D-backs added D-backs Greens at the end of last year making it the first vertical garden in Major League Baseball. When harvesting the plants in the garden, the D-backs and UnitedHealthcare work with local schools to involve children in the process to help teach kids about how they can grow their own fruits and vegetables at home. This Sunday, the vegetables and herbs harvested from the D-backs Greens garden will be donated to Kitchen on the Street. In addition, Flower Street Urban Gardens will provide a free garden to one school and one business.

Read the full story here.

With Eco-Friendly Jerseys, Major League Soccer Kicks Off Earth Day in Style

By Olivia Rosane

Major League Soccer (MLS) is scoring a goal against plastic pollution this Earth Day, with help from a unique, eco-friendly product.

All 23 MLS teams playing Earth Day weekend, from Friday, April 20 to Sunday April 22, will wear special Adidas jerseys made from Parley Ocean Plastic™, an Adidas press release announced April 10.

Parley Ocean Plastic™ is an upcycled material made by Parley for the Oceans, and organization dedicated to raising awareness about environmental threats to the oceans and designing products that help protect these precious ecosystems. Their products are made from plastic washed up on beaches or in coastal communities and then converted into technical fibers that can be used to make shoes or clothing, like the jerseys MLS players will wear this weekend.

“Creating change and playing soccer feels very similar. You strategize, you dive into the game and give everything you have. That’s why you never truly lose. You just get better and better. And suddenly victory is yours, as if it is the most normal thing in life,” Parley for the Oceans founder Cyrill Gutsch said in the Adidas release.

Parley has designed other innovative products in addition to the Earth Day jerseys, which fans of either soccer or the oceans can purchase from Adidas or the MLS store. On March 31, it released a special version of the Adidas Originals NMD_CS1 design. Parley also partnered with Soma to design a reusable water bottle with a sleeve made of the equivalent of two plastic bottles washed up on remote islands or coastal towns. A limited run of the bottles will be available from more than 5,000 Starbucks in the U.S. and Canada.

Read the full story here.

Game Day Garbage: Reducing Food and Plastic Waste

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All around the world, sports fans flock to stadiums, arenas and ballparks to cheer for their favorite teams. With many of these fans consuming food and drinks during events, an enormous amount of waste is generated by the sports industry each year. In the U.S. alone, major league baseball fans create more than 1,000 tons of waste every season—and until recently, all but a tiny percentage has made its way into landfills.

That is changing, thanks to Cargill’s bioplastics joint venture NatureWorks, the world’s largest producer of polylactic acid polymer, called Ingeo™️ PLA. The company is enabling more sports waste to be diverted away from landfills.

NatureWorks grew out of a Cargill research and development project in the 1990s. The team came up with a low-carbon-footprint resin, made by fermenting sugar into lactic acid and forming it into hard pellets, which are then sold to manufacturers. The pellets can be used in a variety of products normally made from plastics or fibers, including diapers, coffee capsules, 3D printing filament, cell phone cases, and foodservice packaging. Marketed under the brand name Ingeo™️, some of these products can be designed to be 100% compostable.

At Target Field, home to the Minnesota Twins baseball team, located in Minneapolis just 13 miles from Cargill headquarters, the team has partnered with Eco-Products, a foodservice manufacturer, to provide cups, plates, trays, and eating utensils made from Ingeo materials—all of which can make it easier to collect food waste to be sent to compost.

Bottles and cans have long been recycled at the ballpark, but by composting Ingeo-based products more commonly made from oil-based plastics, the Twins have increased the amount of waste diverted from landfills to 90 percent.

All around the world, more teams are taking on the challenge of increasing the sustainability of their game-day operations. Some venues are converting waste into compost, used as mulch on fields and green spaces.

“Over the past several years, a number of sports teams with recycling and composting rates around 10 percent have dramatically increased their rates to 80 percent or more,” said Scott Jenkins, chairman of the Green Sports Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping enhance the environmental performance of sports teams, venues and leagues.

As stadiums expand their use of Ingeo-based goods to reduce landfill waste, NatureWorks is looking to help other industries, like the restaurant sector, minimize their carbon footprints, increase organics diversion and to help make all food service ware more environmentally sustainable.

That’s a goal everyone can cheer for.

View the story here.

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