We here at GreenSportsBlog love the Waste Management Phoenix Open. It is Zero Waste. It is the model for greening all golf tournaments. Plus they had a caddy race during the actual tournament*. And now, the Waste Management Phoenix Open is getting even greener.
How can the Waste Management Phoenix Open get any greener? It’s already Zero-Waste. In fact, the best attended tournament (500,000+ fans annually) on the PGA Tour has diverted 100% of its waste from landfill in 2013 and 2014, via recycling, composting and waste-to-energy programs. You read that right: 100% diversion from landfill!
So, we ask again: How can the greenest golf tournament in the US get greener? By water conservation/restoration, that’s how! According to a story in yesterday’s Environmental Leader, the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, which takes place Jan 25-Feb 1, will sponsor Change The Course, a “first-of-its kind water sustainability campaign that supports water flow restoration projects (that include) Northern Arizona’s Verde River (which flows into canals that provide water to the tournament course) and throughout the Colorado River Basin.” Rivers like the Verde have suffered from drought and over usage and thus water supplies are threatened. Water restoration projects are managed by non-profit B-E-F, which has handled similar programs for the National Hockey League. In fact, the NHL, through NHL Green is also sponsoring Change The Course.
View of the Verde River in Arizona. Funds raised by Change The Course, an effort sponsored in part by the Waste Management Phoenix Open, help to restore water to the Verde and other challenged rivers in the US and Canada. Water restoration efforts are managed by non-profit B-E-F. (Photo Credit: Arizona Sierra Club)
The goal of the program is to help millions change their water-use behavior. The tournament will use social media and an engaging microsite to encourage attendees and followers to pledge to conserve water. One pledge will lead to the restoration of 1,000 gallons of water back into the Colorado River Basin. There will also be a Change the Course booth at the Fan Fest Expo at next month’s tournament.
Change The Course water restoration pledge page. Each pledge will lead to the restoration of 1,000 gallons of water into the Colorado River Basin. To pledge, visit: http://wmpo.changethecourse.us
Waste Management’swater conservation efforts at the event will go beyond Change The Course:
- Greywater — wastewater generated from the concessionaire’s kitchens — is recycled for use in tournament portable restrooms.
- Vendor Water Use Monitoring: W-M will work with vendors to monitor their water use, with the goal being to decrease overall consumption vs. 2014.
- Purchase of B-E-F Water Restoration Certificates to offset the freshwater use during the tournament (95,000 gallons in 2014.)
Yes, GreenSportsBlog’s love for the Waste Management Phoenix Open continues to grow, unabated. We will express that love by joining the Change The Course pledge–and we urge you to do the same!
* Here’s a link to a video from the 2013 Caddy Race at the 16th hole. The Caddy Race was banned after that so the caddies got around the ban–sort of–by giving their bibs to kids, who then raced to the green.
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