Hundreds of sports executives from major-league teams are in Portland starting Monday — to figure out how to make their sports more environmentally friendly.
Earlier this year, a half-dozen northwest teams came together to form the ‘Green Sports Alliance.’ The founders include the Portland Trail Blazers, the Seattle Seahawks and the Vancouver Canucks. The alliance is a think tank for creating greener stadiums and sports fields.
Now, dozens of other teams have joined and their executives are in Portland for a brainstorming summit. Spokeswoman, Bethany Waggoner, says they’ll be talking about everything from composting concession store left-overs to water conservation.
“I know the NHL has done a lot with off-setting their water use because you know a hockey rink consumes quite a bit of water to keep it frozen and fresh and working. So there’s a lot of things like that that are being looked at,” she said.
The Trail Blazers recently announced that the Rose Garden Arena earned LEED Gold status. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, it’s the first major league sports arena to manage that in the nation.
Kelley Beamer of the Cascadia Green Building Council says that’s great. But more can still be done.
“I’d love to see the players take a more visible role in promoting sustainability and really being more vocal leaders in terms of representing what the facility has done. And so that’s something I think would have great impact,” Beamer said.
She says sports teams should also consider making some of the tchotchkes they sell out of sustainable materials. She also questioned whether they’re being made locally. The summit’s opening ceremony is open to the public. Tickets are $35. It’s being held Monday at the Gerding Theatre.
(This report first appeared on opbnews.org.)
Congrats to David James for his winning submission, 'Annabella smelling the Balsam.'
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