Major League Baseball (MLB) has announced a new initiative with Arizona State University to further sustainability efforts during the new spring season.
The MLB is partnering with the university’s School of Sustainability to implement and assess new initiatives throughout the Cactus League.
The pilot project will take place at the Salt River Fields stadium, which hosts both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies during their spring training schedule.
The stadium will be the focus of a new ‘Recycle Rally’, designed to reduce landfill and test zero waste strategies. Students from the school will determine how Salt River Fields can adopt waste diversion practices, such as recycling, reusing and composting. It will also engage fans with activities and challenges during games to raise awareness of the impacts of waste.
“This is a perfect partnership for ASU’s School of Sustainability,” said Christopher Boone, Dean of the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University, “One of our core purposes is to use our expertise and innovation to create meaningful change in our community – and ultimately, nationally and globally too. We are thrilled to be able to let our faculty and students apply their classroom knowledge in a real-world setting and help the Cactus League aim for the ambitious goal of zero waste.”
Colorado Rockies Executive Vice President, Greg Feasel, commented: “We are very proud that this partnership with ASU and MLB will educate us and further minimize the environmental impact of the entire Salt River Fields complex, making an already LEED Gold Certified facility even better”.
The two organisations will also visit 10 other ballparks during the 2018 season to document their own waste systems and see how they can be improved. MLB is also working on a separate freshwater restoration campaign called Change the Course, to offset 100 percent of water usage in the Cactus League. This will hopefully see five million gallons of freshwater restored in areas of Arizona with especially depleted rivers and streams. The issue is of vital importance in a state where over half of the area is deemed to be in severe drought.