Thursday, March 27, 2008

Green Diamonds III: Avast! Pirates Pillage Yer Recyclables

So far in this week's Green Diamonds series, I've looked at the Boston Red Sox, one of baseball's biggest money-makers, and the Washington Nationals, recipients of one of the biggest public subsidies in sports history.

Other big-money teams like the New York Yankees and well-financed teams like the Minnesota Twins are kicking off green efforts. But for the final installment of the series, I thought I'd look at the other end of the revenue scale. Can a team that's known for being a cheapskate go green?

As the Pittsburgh Pirates are proving with their "Let's Go Bucs, Let's Go Green" program, the answer is yes.

The initiative was developed in conjunction with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Features include:
  • Recycling bottles, cans and cardboard
  • Using hand towels and toiled paper made from recycled materials
  • All office paper, stationery and business cards will be made of recyclable materials
  • Cutting paper use by copying on both sides
  • Installing motion sensors and using more energy-efficient bulbs
  • Switching to biodegradable cups and utensils
Here's my favorite part:
The players will have to step up, too.

"Players and/or clubbies will have to find the receptacles that say bottles and cans as well," Pirates President Frank Coonelly said after a news conference.
Will recycling and using more sustainable materials cost the Pirates more? Sure. But they'll be more than offset by their reduced total paper usage and energy savings.

Of course, if you're a Pirates fan, you have only one question: Will some of those savings be put into, y'know, getting better players? Only time will tell.

Tuesday - Green Diamonds I: Nats Open MLB's First Green Ballpark
Wednesday - Green Diamonds II: The Monster Gets a Makeover
Thursday - Green Diamonds III: Avast! Pirates Pillage Yer Recyclables
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