Op Ed

Can Every Day In The Sports World Be Earth Day?


Yesterday was the 45th Earth Day and the sports world took notice. Make no mistake about it, I am happy when teams, leagues, and/or individual athletes engage in green-themed activities on Earth Day — and, even better, Earth Month. That there were many good programs this year and, that the media picked up on them, is just another example of increasingly bustling intersection of Green & Sports.


The sports world embraced Earth Day 2014 with a wide array of grassroots programs:


Houston Dynamo Earth Day
Poster for MLS’ Houston Dyanamo’s Earth Day recycling program at BBVA Compass Stadium. Several sports teams and leagues engaged in Earth Day programming this year.


While these programs, and others like them, are  important, positive Green/Sports steps, the fact that some precincts of the mainstream media are taking notice is the even bigger news. The recent New York Times piece on athletes who are shunning gas hogging cars for EVs is just one such high profile example.


Trailblazers charging station NYT Patterson
Two of the 28 charging stations at Moda Center, home arena of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers. Several Blazers players own EVs and park in those spots (Photo Credit: New York Times Thomas Patterson)

Of course running green programs on Earth Day is one thing; making sustainability a year-long facet of the sports world’s DNA is quite another. And going big and bodacious, green-wise (i.e. awarding a supplemental draft pick to the NFL team whose fans recycle the most) would be a much bigger thing.

We’ll be putting pressure on leagues and teams to go beyond their green comfort zone and go long. I expect we’ll have more of substance to share with you in the 364 days between now and Earth Day, 2015.


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  1. While I know this is a sports blog – how about a huge shout out to Apple for their support of earth day plus things they are doing now and will do going forward.
    Another great post Lew.

  2. I’ve been skeptical of Apple on sustainability-related matters. But Greenpeace, much more skeptical than I, rates the company, along with Facebook and Google, as “Green Internet Innovators.” That is a great turnaround. BTW, Amazon gets Greenpeace’s lowest rating among internet giants. http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/A-Green-Internet/clickingclean/

  3. It’s time for every day to be some kind of EARTH day — that is, as long as we’re living on the earth. Glad to hear about more sports related programs. My hope is that more are ongoing, as opposed to one-day commemorative events.

  4. Agree on the 365 day focus…Just updated the post to reflect that more clearly. Thanks for the post!

  5. Seeing Portland reminds me – My company now has 6 EV charging stations in our parking garage and will put more in as the demand increases. Charge at work and your commute in your Tesla is free.

  6. That’s cool! Are those charging stations usually occupied?

    1. Sen 2 teslas and another car consistently there. Sometimes as many as 5

  7. That’s really great. I’m sorry to read about how Tesla is being stymied from selling cars in NJ because they don’t have dealerships in the classic sense. This is just dumb.

    1. Exactly. Spoke to someone at my company who went to the Short Hills NJ mall Tesla store, and ended up ordering a car online from California. Ridiculous. But it is a nice car.

  8. I’ve been to the Manhattan showroom over on W. 25th by the Hudson River. Sat in the original roadster but have not actually gone out on the road in one. On the list.

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