Blog Archives

University of Colorado Expands Sports Sustainability Projects

As part of its campus-wide sustainability efforts, the University of Colorado introduced several new projects in conjunction with the Ralphie’s Green Stampede program introduced in 2008. The projects, aimed at engaging fans and encouraging environmentally friendly practices, were first revealed during the Buffaloes’ September 12 home football opener against Massachusetts.


Among the new initiatives are the Bring Your Bottle Back to Life campaign, organized in partnership with PepsiCo. The program, part of a broader goal to achieve a 90 percent recycling rate on the CU campus in Boulder, will distribute free T-shirts made from recycled plastic fibers into the crowd at Folsom Field after every Buffaloes touchdown. The university is also implementing a drive to promote the use of non-motorized transportation and public transportation to arrive at the stadium for gamedays, as well as providing opportunities for fans to pledge their own water conservation efforts at the same time that CU works to balance its water footprint through restoration projects aimed at replenishing 10 million gallons to Colorado watersheds.

“We want to reward our sustainability-minded fans and build a stronger community culture around sustainable practices,” said CU athletic director Rick George about the expanded sustainability focus. “We’re asking our fans to raise their games at home, work and play.”



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Hops committed to recycling, sustainability

Ron Tonkin Field is one of the most eco-friendly ballparks in Minors

As a Minor League Baseball™ team on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon, sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices are second nature. The lifestyle in the Pacific Northwest is one of recycling, reusing and reducing, and the Hillsboro Hops do everything they can to contribute to the sustainability of their ballpark, surrounding communities and the state of Oregon.

Consider Ron Tonkin Field: the home of the Hops. The stadium was constructed in 2013 and is one of the most eco-friendly ballparks in the country. As the facility was being built, more than 57 tons of general construction debris was salvaged and recycled. An additional 77 tons of concrete and masonry were taken to a local facility to be crushed for structural fill. The foundation of the ballpark itself is based in sustainability.

Another key component of the Hops’ green initiative is the ballpark’s artificial turf field. The amount of water it takes to keep natural grass healthy, not just during the season, but also during the off-season, is enormous and is avoided altogether with our artificial turf. All bathrooms, showers and kitchens at the facility also use low-flow water conservation systems, to significantly reduce the amount of water used.

The building features recycling bins around the concourse, as well as receptacles for compost and landfill. Anyone who has been to a baseball game is aware of the amount of cans and plastic bottles that are used at the event, and it is important to provide an efficient means of disposal for those materials. Ron Tonkin Field also encourages fans to bring in reusable water bottles that can be filled up at any of the water fountains lining the concourses.

With thousands of people filling the stands at Ron Tonkin Field at every Hops home game, transportation is also an issue. The stadium faces the challenge of being outside the immediate proximity of a public transportation system. To resolve the issue, the Hops offer a complimentary, eco-friendly Hops shuttle to and from Ron Tonkin Field from the closest Tri-Met train stop. Fans and gameday employees use both the train and shuttle and help take cars off the road.

The communities of the Pacific Northwest are passionate about the environment, and it’s important for the local professional baseball team to reflect the practices of its community whenever possible. We wanted to construct a facility that would provide fun for our fans and citizens while also remaining in line with the core values of the local community. We’re proud of Ron Tonkin Field and the greening of our ballpark.

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San Diego Padres Pave The Way For Sustainable Food

It’s 7:30 a.m. on game day at Petco Park in downtown San Diego and the food trucks have just started rolling in.

As part of his daily routine, Petco Park executive chef Carlos Vargas awaits the fresh produce.

Duo Entrée: California Black Cod, Lemon Grass Beurre Blanc, Candied Baby Carrots, Lava Salt Prime Braise Kalbi Short Rib, Confit Cipollini Onions Truffle Risotto Purse

Duo Entrée:
California Black Cod, Lemon Grass Beurre Blanc, Candied Baby Carrots, Lava Salt
Prime Braise Kalbi Short Rib, Confit Cipollini Onions Truffle Risotto Purse

During home games, local growers like Suzie’s Farm and Melissa’s Produce, based out of Los Angeles, make daily deliveries of fresh vegetables and fruits.

Petco Park executive chef Carlos Vargas inspects a fresh bag of lettuce on a Melissa’s Farm produce truck, Aug. 17, 2015.

“See the quality of the raspberries that we have in here? It’s just unbelievable how good and sweet they are,” said Vargas after tasting one of the raspberries.

In late June, the San Diego Padres and concession partner Delaware North were recognized as“Champions of Game Day Food” in a joint report by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Green Sports Alliance.

The report named the Padres and Petco Park as one of the top locations for stadium eats in the country for their sustainability efforts and food quality.

Allen Hershkowitz, president for Green Sports Alliance, said the Padres are setting an example for other stadiums.

“The Padres are providing valuable lessons not only to professional sports venues throughout North America, but actually professional sports venues throughout the world,” Hershkowitz said.

More than 95 percent of the San Diego Padres concession stands and restaurants get their food from Southern California.


Read the full article from KPBS.