The actions and words of professional athletes can influence millions of people. Because of this, it is a breath of fresh air that some pro leagues and professional players are sending out the message to become more environmentally friendly.
Earlier this month the NBA partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) for NBA Green Week. During the week players wore 50-percent recycled polyester shooting shorts with the NBA Green logo.
Also the NBA website hosted an auction that featured Spalding basketballs made from 40-percent recycled materials and that had autographs from some players.
One player in the NBA that takes the green issue seriously is Los Angeles Laker Jordan Farmar. His organization, the “Jordan Farmar Foundation,” spreads the green message to the younger generation and, according to Farmar, is working towards building a “green” room at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.
Farmar has said that he always recycles, and carpools as much as possible. Farmar also said that he tries to get his teammates into a habit of recycling.
The NBA is not the only league that is going green. The NFL teamed up with NextEra Energy Resources to power the 2010 Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl this past February. Also, all of the leftover materials from the Super Bowl were inventoried and donated to local non-profit agencies in South Florida where the Super Bowl was held.
On top of that, extra prepared food from the Super Bowl events were collected and donated to community agencies.
This month Major League Baseball, in celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day today, and will be hosting a variety of green events. The MLB will also incorporate environmental initiatives into their games.
The Minnesota Twins, who opened their new stadium Target Field this season, have a unique recycling system in their ball park. The Twins have teamed up with Pentair, a Minneapolis water solutions, to make their stadium environmentally friendly.
Target Field has a first of its kind system, that some say will eventually become the norm, that will capture, conserve, and reuse rain water. This will reduce the need for municipal water at Target Field. This system could save 2 million gallons of water a year.
Locally, Dodger Stadium is doing its part to go green by offering shuttle rides for fans. A shuttle bus will pick up fans from Union Station. The service will operate every 10 minutes during the 90-minute period prior to each game, and every 30 minutes through out the game, and for 45 minutes after the game.
Dodger admission tickets will be honored as fare. For those without a ticket, the one-way fare will be $1.25.
The Dodger organization is hoping that the shuttle system will save people gas, cut down on traffic, and improve air quality. But the good news for Dodger fans is that with the shuttle system, fans will be able to bypass the $15 parking fee.