Guest blog originally posted by Alice Henly at switchboard.nrdc.org.
This year the Major League Baseball postseason will not only culminate in the reign of a new World Champion (with the Giants out of the running as of last weekend), but all stadiums hosting postseason and World Series games will also broadcast an NRDC Public Service Announcement about the League’s landmark commitment to the environment.
The PSA features NRDC Trustee Robert Redford celebrating Major League Baseball’s dedication to protecting the environment and collaboration with NRDC by committing to more sustainable practices. Redford explains, “Working together with the NRDC and fans like you, the League is encouraging every team to increase recycling, cut energy use, conserve water and use greener products.”
The broadcast of this PSA to millions of fans during the 2011 MLB postseason (starting today) is only the most recent of many fan education and greening initiatives that are part of Major League Baseball’s inspiring commitment to environmental stewardship.
Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig has explained that the League is devoted to ecological progress. He says, “Baseball is a social institution with social responsibilities and caring for the environment is inextricably linked to all aspects of the game. Sound environmental practices make sense in every way and protect our natural resources for future generations of baseball fans.”
Over the past several years, professional baseball Clubs have taken up the Commissioner’s mission by making real reductions and changes at stadiums across the country.
For example, from 2006 to 2009 the Seattle Mariners saved $1 million with extensive energy efficiency initiatives. The Cleveland Indians installed a 42-panel solar electric system to power all 400 televisions at its ballpark with 8.4 kilowatts of clean renewable energy in mid 2007. The Washington Nationals opened the first major LEED accredited ballpark in the U.S. in 2008, which included low-flow fixtures in all restrooms that save a projected 3.6 million gallons of water per year. During 2010, the San Francisco Giants’ recycling and composting program diverted 67 percent of the ballpark's waste from going to the landfill.
MLB Clubs have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars, and reduced or offset thousands of tons of climate change inducing carbon thanks to many energy efficiency enhancements, solar panels installed, recycling programs developed, water conservation systems implemented, eco-certified cleaning products used and recycled paper products purchased. The Clubs and League are also benefiting the environment by sending a message to their suppliers, sponsors and partners whenever they prioritize products and systems that are environmentally beneficial.
No other sporting institution has influenced American culture as much as baseball. MLB is once again putting that influence to very good use by leading by example. During the 2011 postseason MLB is educating its millions of fans about the importance of environmental stewardship to ensure clean air and clean water for the future of the sport and health of our society.
The League’s PSA is a call to action to businesses and every one of the millions of baseball fans watching the playoffs – reminding them that even their smallest everyday choices have an impact on our environment. The PSA ends with an appeal from Redford, “Please join us in making greener practices part of America’s pastime, now, and for seasons to come.”
Major League Baseball is asking us all to take note: every team, every stadium, and every fan has a role in protecting our environment for the prosperity of our country and the world.
MLB is playing its part, are you?
Join MLB and start making a difference today with simple everyday choices that benefit the environment. Use NRDC's Green Tips for fans and you'll start saving money on everything from electricity to gas while saving the planet.
Learn more about MLB’s greening initiatives at nrdc.org/sports or at mlb.com/green and by reading Senior Scientist Allen Hershkowitz’s blog on MLB’s impressive environmental data tracking system. You can also watch many more green sports PSAs from NRDC.