Give this roundup a sporting chance
Ado, ado, ado. It’s been a while since our last sports roundup, so with no further ado:
Baseball: Major League Baseball was all about Earth Day. The Seattle Mariners hosted the league’s first carbon-neutral game, while the uniforms of the Boston Red Sox displayed a pair of red socks in a green recycling logo. (Reaction from Grist Prez — and Sox fan — Chip Giller: “This is butt ugly! And what does the recycling sign have to do with energy issues?”) Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Phillies have bought 20 million kilowatt-hours of renewable-energy certificates. The L.A. Dodgers have unveiled a new stadium plan that includes a dedicated bus lane — and two new parking garages. And toxic soil from the excavation site for the Minnesota Twins’ new ballpark gets dumped by the river. If the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball is more your style, the Long Island Ducks are going green too.
Basketball: Basketball star Steve Nash is the source of perhaps my favorite quote ever: “When the Suns get hot, that’s good. But when the earth gets hot, that’s bad.” Ha! He’s also endorsed by Nike and stars in this ad for their recycled shoe:
Artificial sporting surfaces: Artificial field turf has been all up in the news lately — so much so that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating whether it poses a health risk. Meanwhile, artificial snow is criticized for being highly energy- and water-intensive.
Beijing Olympics 2008: The city will halt all construction-related digging and concrete pouring from July 20 until Sept. 20 to help clear the air. At least one statistics official believes the impact on Beijing’s economy of factory shutdowns and driving restrictions will be minimal. Concerns about air pollution linger; Australian athletes are being screened for asthma, and European athletes will take part in an asthma study while there, though a European anti-asthma organization says asthma sufferers face no increased health risk at the Games. And to tout the green symbolism of the Games, Chinese artist Yuan Xikun and U.S. enviro-artist Robert Wyland exchanged paintings in a symbolic ceremony touting the Games’ greenness.
London Olympics 2012: The city is getting going on cleanup and construction. Says Tom Russell, head of the Olympic Legacy Directorate of the London Development Agency, “It’s an unparalleled opportunity for city-making.”
Sochi Olympics 2014: Greens are concerned that Olympic preparations in the Russian city will irreparably harm the environment.
Soccer: Austria is co-hosting the European Championships with Switzerland in June, and says the event will be green, though critics say organizers should focus more on mitigating emissions from travel than on energy-efficient stadiums and reusable drinking cups. Meanwhile, South Africa is pledging to make the 2010 World Cup green by offsetting emissions and planting trees. Be that as it may, the London Telegraph charges that — gasp! — “football’s green claim is really a red herring.”
And if you’re into the whole eco-athlete thing, perhaps you’d like to check out EcoAthlete.