News and Notes

Green Sports News And Notes


With the Domestic Violence issue in the NFL rightly grabbing back and front pages these days, (much) less dramatic Green-Sports stories are finding it tough to get oxygen.

That’s why GreenSportsBlog is here with a News And Notes column, including a much-needed positive NFL story and our first-ever post on Dog Shows!



A soccer field powered by the kinetic energy created by the movements of the players was unveiled last week in Morro da Mineira, a Rio de Janeiro, Brazil favela.

Mike Hower details how the power (pun intended) of this breakthrough technology goes beyond the pitch in a story in Sustainable Brands. Money quote: “The energy is…stored and combined with the power generated by solar panels next to the field to convert into renewable electricity for the new floodlights, giving everyone in the favela a safe and secure community space at night. (ITALS my emphasis).
Promoted by none other than Pelé, the project, developed “by a grant recipient of the UK Shell LiveWIRE, serves as a catalyst for young entrepreneurs and students to develop enterprising ideas into viable and sustainable businesses.”

Shell, through its #marketthefuture STEM education program, was the prime funder of Morro da Miniera field. While Shell, one of the biggest oil companies in the world, can certainly be seen as a major source of the greenhouse gas emissions-based problems humanity faces, I think it’s fair to point out the work they’re doing to, at least in a small way, offset the damage they (and their customers like you and me) are causing.


Pelé, arguably the greatest soccer player ever, greets local Pelé-wannabees, at the inauguration of the new football pitch, powered by kinetic energy generated by footsteps, in the Morro de Miniera favela in Rio. (Photo Credit: Yasuyoshi Chiba, Getty Images)



Ecocentric, a terrific blog about “food, water and energy” from the non-profit Grace Communications Foundation, highlights the forward-thinking-ness of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams as they have become the league’s first club to offer sustainably raised, high-animal-welfare hot dogs and burgers to fans.

As blogger James Saracini points out, what makes this story especially cool is that former Rams linebacker and current sideline reporter Will Witherspoon, owner of the sustainably-run Shire Gate Farm in Owensville, MO, is the supplier of said hot dogs and burgers.

Shire Gate’s meats are “certified by Animal Welfare Approved, the most stringent certifier of farms in the US. To meet AWA’s exacting criteria, farms must meet high animal welfare and environmental standards, including being raised on pasture, and must not rely on hormones, growth promoters or non-therapeutic antibiotics.”

GreenSportsBlog has, over the last year or so, chronicled the increasing number of sports teams, venues and organizations going “Zero-Waste” (diverting at least 90% of waste from landfill), including Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners and Ohio State University football.

And, while Zero-Waste baseball and football stadia are certainly high-profile steps in the right direction, you know that Zero-Waste has reached a tipping point of sorts when Dog Shows decide to go that route!

That’s just what happened at this summer’s Pacific Kennel Club Dog Show in Surrey, BC. Waste Management Canada provided important environmental and sustainability intelligence for the event that drew 300-500 people each day. In addition to the now-expected bins for recycling, compost,and paper/cardboard, fans and dog-owners also saw separate bags for, well, “dog poop”.

Now, we will know that the Zero-Waste Dog Show movement (pun intended) has attained critical mass if big-time events like the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden move in that direction. So far, there’s been no indication this is the case.


Poop Receptacles
Receptacles for dog poop sit alongside the more traditional waste receptacles at the 2014 Pacific Kennel Club Dog Show in Surrey, BC. Collecting waste from the Show’s participants helped The Club, assisted by Waste Management Canada, to attain Zero-Waste status. (Photo Credit: Waste Management Canada)



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    See link above. Shell is not in denial. Shell is leading the pack, at least in pretense, sounding the warning regarding climate change and carbon emissions. In this article cited, Shell is calling for a carbon cap. Sure, the cap advocated is too high and Shell itself is a bad actor, but initiating the discussion is a start!

  2. Agree they aren’t in denial (woo-HOO!!!) and am happy to laud them for what they do well–as in this very cool field in Rio. But I’ll believe they are a solution and a source of the problem in equal measure when they put out ads in the US supporting a price on carbon and put $$ behind candidates who support same. Over/under on when that will happen?

  3. Zero Waste Dog Show! arf arf… excellent.

  4. Next we’ll look to see if there’s a green cat show!

    Article by David Hume, who is on the Shell payroll, advocating a carbon tax.

  6. Big Oil has shifted policy toward favoring a carbon tax. If you can’t beat them, join them approach. Or possibly just self-preservation

  7. Even Exxon, difficult to believe, now supports a carbon tax.

  8. Now, I don’t want anyone responding that I think Exxon has clean hands, as Exxon continues to fund the global warming denial groups and politicians. Just, pointing out that the Oil companies are realists and know they will lose the fight.

  9. Thanks for the comments, John, especially the last one. Let’s hope Joni Ernst loses her fight in Iowa!

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