GSB At 2: Mainstream Media Starting To Cover Green-Sports Intersection

With GreenSportsBlog approaching its 2nd anniversary (May 22, for those GSB trivia buffs–and I know you’re out there!), we are starting GSB at 2, a 3-part series that will take a macro look at the Green-Sports intersection: Where it is now and where it may go in the next 2-5 years. This post takes a look at how the media beyond our corner of the blogosphere is covering Green-Sports. While there are no hard data on the amount of stories published on Green-Sports, anecdotally, it does seem like the number of articles is increasing and the quality of media outlets reporting on the topic is becoming more high profile. 

The main reason I started GreenSportsBlog is it seemed no one was covering what, to me, was a topic, the intersection of Green and Sports, that begged for far more oxygen.  The confluence of the existential (Green/Sustainability/Climate Change) and the trivial (Sports*) would, I thought, be a source of endless interesting and important stories. Certainly there have been no shortage of story lines.

While the coverage of the Green-Sports intersection was scant two Mays ago, I’m happy to report that is no longer the case. Just since the beginning of April, a quick survey of the media, mainstream and outsider, consumer and trade, reveals several important Green-Sports stories reported in some important outlets:

  • The New York Times ran two Green-Sports stories:
    • In “Forest Green Rovers Tackles Sustainability Feet First” (April 5), Jack Williams brought the story of GreenSportsBlog’s “Greenest Sports Team in the World” to its massive readership.
    • Then, in its Earth Day (April 22) special section, Ken Belson’s “Recycling Peanuts and Cracker Jack” detailed how “a growing number of [professional] teams, eager to cut costs, are asking [fans] to toss their food and biodegradable cutlery, trays and cups in separate bins.” Belson focused on how more teams are moving beyond recycling, standard practice in most venues, to embrace composting because it makes economic sense to do so: “As the price of compostable forks, knives, spoons, plates, trays and cups has fallen, teams have been able to expand composting throughout their venues because biodegradable serviceware allows fans to throw everything in one can…Though still more expensive than standard products, [compostables’] higher costs were offset by a reduction in landfill hauling fees.”

NYT Compost

From Ken Belson’s New York Times story, “Recycling Peanuts and Cracker Jack,” Ernesto Soto, left, and Edgar Colclough, machine operators for Aramark, sort compostable trash from bins at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., before it goes into a composter on the site. (Photo credit: Bryan Anselm for The New York Times)

 

Fast Co Golf

From Adele Peters Fast Company article, “Is It Possible to Design a Drought Friendly Golf Course in California,”,  fabric-lined bio- filtration basin captures water runoff from the Ocean Course Golf Club’s maintenance facility and filters it through grass, gravel, sand, soil, and finally through the filter fabric into an underground drainage system. (Photo credit: Fast Company)

 

  • Moving to the trade press, Energy Manager Today, a go-to daily source of news for the energy industries (generation, waste, efficiency) has made the greening-of-sports a frequent item on its menu. The most recent example: On May 5, they reported on the upgrade of the lighting systems at Dartmouth’s Field House to LEDs.
  • Finally, Energy and Environment News ran “Is It Cool to Be ‘Green’ at Sports Stadiums? Yes, But It Goes Way Beyond That” by Brittany Patterson. It detailed many of the topics touched on by GSB over the past two years: Green stadium construction, the growth of the Green Sports Alliance, the NHL’s leadership on sustainability issues. The news here is that a source considered a ‘must-read’ by people who track and influence energy, environmental and climate policy,” sees the newsworthiness of Green-Sports.

So, now that the mainstream media is paying attention, GreenSportsBlog will do what it can to direct that attention to the stories that link sports to bigger, climate change issues–like our April 16 piece “Sports Speaks Up on Gay Marriage; Time to Do So On Climate Change Denial”. As Rachel Maddow often says, watch this space.

* For those who would argue that sports is existential, I get it. But let’s have some perspective, people!

Please comment below!

Email us: lew@greensportsblog.com

Tweet us: @greensportsblog

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