Many sports teams contribute to Earth Day

Mark Wayner

As the 40th anniversary of Earth Day is celebrated tomorrow, sports fans may discover that not only are environmental agencies, student organizations or government programs setting up ways to encourage the importance of eco-friendly practices, but so is the sporting world.

Slowly over the course of the past two years, sports organizations, leagues and associations have started making an effort to promote the “go green” movement by instituting a week of environmentally-aware campaigns.

The NBA, which kicked off its second annual Green Week on April 9, has continued its growing campaign for a clean earth with efforts from all 30 teams and arenas. Each arena will undergo subtle, but recognizable, changes in appearance for Green Week, including a green padding beneath each backboard and a special NBA “Green” logo displayed on every court.

Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash has taken drastic steps toward an environmentally safe life and is a leading promoter for the green movement. As an earth-friendly humanitarian, Nash drives a hybrid car, uses solar panels in his home and even wears Nike sneakers made of entirely recycled material.

Yet, it is not just the NBA that has taken upon itself to promote the awareness for earth week.

The MLB will be celebrating this Earth Day by hosting an assortment of greening events and integrating environmental initiatives into their games. In addition, each organization will be featuring a unique promotion throughout the course of the year, sending an important message to fans: Going green is the only option.

Another pioneering effort to the environmental movement is the adaptation of an energy efficient arena in Atlanta.

The Rose Garden Arena, home of the Portland Trail Blazers, became the first arena to gain the “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” certification by the United States Green Building Council in 2008. This building, one of the three grounds to be granted this honor (others are Atlanta’s Philips Arena and Miami’s American Airlines Arena), practices the use of less energy and water while also raising indoor air quality and limiting the use of landfills.

The fact of the matter is sports are finally beginning to understand the importance of environmental protection. The amount of material and energy sports organizations waste is endless.

By finally initiating a form of a clean earth promotion, sports will create a higher awareness for the growing movement across the world. After all, as we learned from recent events (thanks to a guy named Tiger), sports are in fact one of the most influential and observed businesses present in our world.

Efforts sports associations have taken in celebration of Green Week

• NBA teams wore 100 percent organic cotton shooting shirts prior to games.

• Major League Baseball will be commemorating Earth Day, implementing a league-wide environmental program promoting the green movement.

• NBA Arenas transformed into green by promoting recycling programs and community-service projects.

• The NFL and NBC teamed up to present a pregame show featuring green awareness and initiatives.

• NBA players wore green headbands and MLB players wore hats made of all recycled material.

Contact features correspondent Mark Wayner at [email protected].