When professional sports teams began recycling programs, it soon became competitive. And the San Francisco Giants baseball team quickly knocked it out of the park.

PhotoJENKINS: “Back in ’07 when we started collecting data, their recycling rate was probably on the order of 40 percent, and everybody else was looking at them like ‘wow’ that’s a huge number.”

That’s Scott Jenkins, of the Green Sports Alliance. He says that today, recycling more than 70 percent of trash is the norm across pro sports. But the Giants? They have now reduced the amount of trash they send to the landfill by more than 90 percent!

Today, professional leagues, individual teams, and stadiums are taking action to protect the environment. But Jenkins says the greatest impact sports can have on climate change will come from athletes inspiring action as role models.

JENKINS: “We need to have athletes being vocal, talking about better ways of doing things, talking about protecting the environment. And I’d like to think that athletes of the future are going to be more apt to take a stand on these things. So that’s really the holy grail of how do we get this message out, and how do we create cultural change, which is really what we need to do to impact climate issues in any meaningful way.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.

More Resources
Pro-Sports Teams Increasingly Going Green
Green Sports Alliance
Smarter Business: Greening the Games (Natural Resources Defense Council)

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