Northwest Teams Lead A Growing ‘Green Sports’ Movement 

By Cassandra Profita | Jefferson Public Radio:  Northwest sports teams are leading an effort to use the widespread appeal of basketball, football, baseball and hockey to spread an environmental message.

A group formed by six teams in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., called the Green Sports Alliance set out three years ago to improve the environmental performance of professional sports. The alliance has grown to hundreds of teams across the country that are now competing to see who can be the greenest.

Baseball fields, basketball arenas and football stadiums across the country are installing solar panels and wind turbines. They’re selling local and organic food to their fans, and replacing trash cans with recycling and compost bins.

Supporters of this movement say sports offer a fun, non-political way to promote environmentalism. It saves money, cuts carbon emissions, and the environmental benefits count toward the teams’ record of community service.

The green sports game isn’t as exciting to watch as a slam dunk, a home run or a touchdown. But it has racked up some impressive stats:

The teams are tracking their environmental performance with help from the Natural Resource Defense Council and the Environmental Protection Agency. So they know where they stand in the environmental rankings. According to Martin Tull, executive director of the Green Sports Alliance, that has spurred some friendly competition.

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