GreenSportsBlog: Weekend Parting Shots

Normally I post once a week, on Mondays.  This week, however, was a busy one in the GreenSports World.  So, here for your reading pleasure, are some GreenSports news and notes as you head off to your weekend:

COWBOYS ARE GREEN–AND THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW IT!

Jason Garrett

Jason Garrett, Head Coach, Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett gave his welcoming speech to the team to open training camp a week or so ago. And, without knowing it, he offered up a strong green message (per SI.com’s “The MMQB” football site):

I’m about to ban the Styrofoam deals, guys. [Dallas allows players to go through the team-meal line with a Styrofoam container and get food to go.] … This is an incredible opportunity you guys have. It’s one of the great experiences of your life to be a teammate with somebody in the National Football League. The camaraderie you develop at a team meal is like nothing else. When people retire from the game, you know what they say? ‘I miss the locker room. I miss the camaraderie at the meals.’ So lose the Styrofoam thing, get a tray, sit down next to one of your teammates, and let’s build a football team. Let’s build a football team. It’s really important stuff. You’re gonna thank me for it later. Trust me. You’re gonna thank me for it later.

How cool would it have been if he added a recycling, green message to the team building theme?  I’m going to write Coach Garrett and see if he can add that to next year’s speech.  Assuming he doesn’t get fired, of course.

 

BILL CLINTON NOT THE ONLY PRESIDENT TO GET BEHIND SOCCKET

Many of you commented on my post of two weeks ago on the SOCCKET, the soccer ball, developed by 2 Class of 2010 Harvard students, that generates and stores electricity when kicked.  Boot the SOCCKET around for 30 minutes and you generate 3 hours of light (the SOCCKET plugs in to lamps!).  Former President Bill Clinton gave the students a huge boost when he invited one to speak at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in 2010.  This helped SOCCKET move from class project to the lead product in a new company, Uncharted Play.  UP is devoted to “fostering well-being by inspiring people to lead playful lives”.  Clinton is not the only President to have, pardon this pun, seen the light with SOCCKET.  Here’s President Obama generating some energy with the SOCCKET on his recent trip to Africa:

Obama Soccket

 

 

NYC HIGH SCHOOLERS GET THE GREEN-SPORTS INTERSECTION

I gave the Climate Reality Project slide show (i.e. the “An Inconvenient Truth” presentation) today to a terrific group of 30 high school kids at The Horticultural Society of New York, the non-profit dedicated to sustaining “the vital connection between people and plants”.  The talk was given as part of the Greening Western Queens “Green Infrastructure Program”, a partnership between The Hort and Global Kids, another fantastic non-profit whose mission is to develop youth leaders, mainly from underserved communities, “for the global stage through dynamic global education and leadership development programs.”

greening western queens

These high school juniors certainly seem poised to lead the fight against Climate Change.  Among other things, they’ve started a petition drive to gain funding for green roofs on top of public schools in NYC (I signed!).  And they embraced the idea that the enormous challenges climate change poses provides their generation with huge opportunities as well.

The reason I’m including today’s presentation in the GreenSportsBlog is that the power of the Green/Sports intersection was clear.

  1. The part of the slideshow that elicited the most enthusiasm was the “Climate On Steroids” section.  It makes the analogy between steroids in baseball (as the fuel for dramatic jumps in home runs), and greenhouse gas emissions (as the prime cause of Climate Change).  Even the kids who aren’t into baseball understood that, once MLB instituted real drug testing, home runs reverted to pre-steroid era levels.  And they also understood that, sadly, we haven’t started to take the “Climate Steroids” out of the atmosphere.
  2. It was easy to see that the addition of sports into the presentation made it kind of “fun”.  Fun is not a word one associates with Climate Change, but the kids’ ears perked up and re-focused their attention when we talked Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds.

Near the end of the presentation, I told the kids about the GreenSportsBlog and my “Open Letter To LeBron James” post.  Their faces lit up (I wish we could’ve harvested that psychic, facial energy!).  Now I know they’re way more into LeBron then Climate Change but, hopefully, they’ll read the post, friend LeBron on Facebook and bug him to say “Climate Change is real, it’s human caused, and we need to take meaningful action to reverse it”.  In fact, maybe we can start a petition.

Have a great weekend!

 

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2 thoughts on “GreenSportsBlog: Weekend Parting Shots

  1. This is a great blog Lew! I like your comments on how you made climate change “fun” to talk about with the high schoolers. I think one of the hardest things about the subject is that it can seem too scary and overwhelming to even start on. Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks, Libby! You know, in the Climate Reality Project (Al Gore’s organization that enlists grassroots folk to give the slide show that was at the heart of “An Inconvenient Truth”), the mantra is “Win The Conversation”. Before you can WIN the conversation you have to HAVE the conversation. Sometimes, a little levity can help make having the conversation a little easier.

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