Major League Baseball long ago committed to going green and maintaining environmentally friendly practices at all 30 ballparks, and the celebration of Earth Day every year serves as a reminder of those league-wide efforts.
Though we’re not able to celebrate Earth Day in stadiums this year, MLB’s commitment to sustainability is unwavering. On Wednesday, several projects were unveiled, highlighting the league’s ongoing efforts to maintain environmentally sound practices.
In 2019, MLB partnered with Discovery Education to produce baseball- and sustainability-focused content in schools throughout the country. For this year’s Earth Day, Discovery featured MLB in its roll-out of the “50 Ways to Earth Day” program to teachers, students and parents. It will also feature educational videos for classrooms across the U.S., with representatives from several MLB Clubs addressing their sustainability practices.
Discovery hosted a live Twitter chat with Brewers pitcher Brent Suter (@bruter24), to discuss his passion for sustainability and reinforce the importance of caring for the environment.
With each passing year, Suter, who graduated from Harvard with a dual Environmental Science and Public Policy degree in 2012, has gained a stronger foothold in MLB and used his platform to spread the word about the importance of being Earth-friendly. Like the time in Spring Training in 2019, when Suter, while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, acquired reusable water bottles for teammates and convinced them to help limit single-use plastics.
Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong, a biochemistry major who loves science, launched an education initiative Wednesday to encourage kids to keep learning at home by showing how baseball and science are connected.
In his introductory video, DeJong encouraged kids to submit videos with their baseball-related science questions. He picked some to answer on social media, and in the next few weeks, he said he will send those kids his three special Topps baseball cards that were made this year. Those cards promote academics, science and literacy and the baseball card manufacturer’s “Topps of the Class” program.
The Mariners, their concessionaire Centerplate and Ocean Conservancy scheduled a virtual cooking session on Wednesday with the T-Mobile Park Executive Chef, Taylor Park, who coordinated an in-home cooking session for fans. Others included in the project were two representatives from Ocean Conservancy: chief scientist George Leonard and senior director of arctic programs Becca Robbins Gisclair. Both spoke about how to source sustainable seafood and be eco-friendly while cooking at home.
Also, as a part of Earth Day efforts, MLB is rolling out 100 sustainability facts on the @MLB_PR platform. A sampling:
• In 2019, MLB activated water filtration systems for the broadcast compound and supplied reusable water bottles to eliminate single-use bottles during the All-Star Game in Cleveland and throughout the postseason.
• Nineteen clubs have installed LED field lighting.
• Twelve ballparks operate their own gardens. The gardens at Oracle Park, Busch Stadium, Chase Field, Fenway Park, Coors Field, Nationals Park, PNC Park, Progressive Field and T-Mobile Park are all utilized to source food for concession stands and restaurants at the ballpark.
• Ten clubs (the D-backs, Red Sox, Indians, Rockies, Royals, Padres, Giants, Mariners, Cardinals and Nationals) utilize solar power at their ballparks.
• The D-backs, Reds, Indians, Tigers, Dodgers, Twins, Pirates, Rangers and Nationals donate leftover food to local food banks and organizations.
• Seven ballparks are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified in various aspects of their operations: Truist Park, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Marlins Park, Miller Park, Target Field, Oracle Park and Nationals Park.
• Seven clubs have permanently eliminated plastic straws from their ballparks: White Sox, Dodgers, Marlins, Brewers, Yankees, Padres and Nationals.