Saturday, October 27, 2012

Got Pucks? The NHL is going green!

hockey1I’m a greenmomster, but I’m also a hockey mom.  Often, as I’m standing next to a rink, freezing my toes off, my mind wanders to the amount of energy used to freeze the rink, the gas needed to run the zambonis, and the landfill space needed to dispose of everyone’s garbage.  It seems that someone at the NHL has been wondering the same thing.  They’ve formed a partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to make hockey a more sustainable enterprise.  The league seems to be very focused on reduce, reuse, and recycle – definitely a step in the right direction.  There’s also the Gallons for Goals project.  As stated in their green platform, many NHL players learned to skate on outdoor rinks and ponds, and these frozen areas are becoming less common.  Hockey depends on cold weather, so the NHL is getting involved.   Check out their NHL Green website and NHL Green blog.

So what about the other popular, albeit less exciting, professional and college sports?  Well the NRDC has discovered that professional sports can have a major impact on the environment and environmental attitudes of sports fans.  As the NRDC states on their sports website, “The benefits for both professional and college sports leagues are robust, from saving thousands of dollars on energy, waste, and water bills to creating new sponsorship opportunities and enhancing brand value with corporate social responsibility--not to mention the environmental benefits.”  NRDC provides greening advisors to all teams in professional baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, and tennis.  NRDC provides energy, waste, and water efficiency audits for stadiums and arenas, resulting in significant cost and energy savings.   An example from NRDC’s blog:  “Since first partnering with NRDC in 2008, each year the US Open has recycled 18,000 tennis ball cans and replaced 2.4 million virgin fiber-based napkins with 90% post-consumer recycled content napkins, along with many other initiatives.”  Not too shabby!

OK, since my son also has a mean backhand, here’s the USTA’s plug for green sports:

So hockey, soccer, tennis, and baseball greenmomsters, there is hope!  We can have sustainability and sports too!  Want more information?  Read Game Changer, How the Sports Industry is Saving the Environment from NRDC.
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National Hockey League.  2012.  ND.  Accessed 10/23/2012.
Natural Resources Defense Council.  2012.  ND.  Accessed 10/23/2012.
NRDC is the nation's most effective environmental action organization. NRDC uses law, science, and the support of 1.3 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things. NRDC's website provides a wealth of environmental information as well as state-of-the-art online activism tools.

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