Monday, November 26, 2007

A Look Back

Hello Readers,

This will be my last entry of the semester and I wanted to take a second and look back at what I have learned about the Green lifestyle and the sporting world.

I have to be honest before I took this class I didn't know a lot about living Green and a lot more about sports but after writing on this blog I feel like I know a lot about both. While writing these entries every Monday I learned that sports figures and sports teams have a profound influence on making the green lifestyle more aware to people like me.

People like Steve Nash and the Philadelphia Eagles organization make a conscience effort to bringing more awareness to people who follow them and their career to live a more green lifestyle. It was good to see athletes and teams trying to make a difference in the world. These teams have so much money and I was happy to see they are using their power in the world in a positive way.

I was amazed how many sports or making a effort to help the environment. I was probably most surprised at how much the Indy cars were trying to make a difference by using better fuel by creating their cars with the environment in mind. I was also surprised by all the extreme sports and how they are going green. Green snowboards, surfboards, and bikes are only some of the things that are beginning to be made out of recycled materials.

Outside of the sports world, I started to realize that it is really not that hard to live a green lifestyle and the more effort one makes, the better our world will be in the long run. After talking to people familiar with the green lifestyle, I learned that it only takes a few things each day to make a impact. Things like turning off the water when you brush your teeth or taking a paper bag lunch to work or school. There are some other things that people do such as make their home more green or drive hybrid cars but these tend to be a little more expensive and more of a commitment.

When I started writing this blog I thought I would have a hard time coming up with ideas because I thought sports weren't making a effort to live green. I was very wrong because it seemed each week there was something about an athlete or team doing something to help the environment. Even here in Tucson where I am going to school, the local high schools are starting to build astro turf football fields because it helps save water. Even though it costs more money to build the astro turf field, high schools realize that it is better for the environment and it will cost less in the long run.

I really did enjoy writing this blog because I learned a lot about the green lifestyle and how the sports industry is making a effort to save the environment. I can honestly say that after taking this class and writing this blog that I myself make a effort to do the little things that will help the environment. I learned that if everyone does just a little bit that it will have a huge impact on the world that are kids and grand kids will inherit one day.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Steve Nash Foundation Going Green

Hello Readers,

Another congratulations is in order for the Dallas Cowboys who continued to dominate the NFC by beating the Washington Redskins behind 4 touchdowns from Terrell Owens. I keep expecting us to have a let down game but every game they fight hard play together as a team. I also want to give a shout out to the Phoenix Suns who are off to a nice start. Steve Nash is picking up where he left off and hopefully they will be there in the end.

Speaking of the Suns, their MVP, Steve Nash has a foundation called the Steve Nash Foundation. This foundations mission is to assist under served children in their health, personal development, education and enjoyment of life. On top of this, the Steve Nash Foundation believes that corporations must share responsibility for the well-being of local communities. The foundation encourages environmentally friendly office practices and it offers grant assistance in developing their own recycling and energy conservation practices. Not only is Steve Nash my favorite basketball player in the NBA and now I have even more respect for him because he is trying to help the world become more environmentally friendly.

Nash also opened a sports club in 2007 located in Vancouver, Canada to help people get in shape and live a healthier life. "I've always taken a holistic approach to health," Nash said in a Vancouver Sun article. "And I think we're becoming so much more educated on the impact fitness has on overall health and wellness. I love fitness, just the health and well-being, the mental health that it gives you."

The sports club will have all plasma screen televisions for members to watch while working out but more importantly Nash wanted the club to be environmentally friendly. Nash wanted there to be a big focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility, according to the article.

The floor of the sports club is made from floating bamboo and the rugs in the club are made from recycled athletic shoelaces, according to the article. "We're going to go as green as we can with the gym with sustainable and renewable resources, whether that's with materials and textiles or recycling energy from the cardio machines," said Nash in the article.

Nash said he hopes that he can open five more clubs in the next year or so with even more modern designs and environmentally friendly aspects.

Monday, November 12, 2007

CFL Looking to Go Green

Hello Readers,

I first want to congratulate the Dallas Cowboys for taking care of business yesterday when they went into New York and dismantled the Giants. All the so called "expert" said that the Giants were closing the gap between them and the Cowboys but that doesn't seem to be the case. The Cowboys are the second best team in the NFL. Come February hopefully the Cowboys can get a rematch with those undefeated New England Patriots.

Speaking of football, I read an article about the Canadian Football League (CFL) and how their commissioner is looking to make their sport more green. Mark Cohen is making a strong initiative to make the CFL's Grey Cup more environmentally friendly. The Grey Cup is the CFL's equivalent to the National Football League's (NFL) Super Bowl. According to the CFL web site, the Grey Cup is Canada's largest television event. This year's Grey Cup will be held November 25, 2007.

According to the article by the Canadian Press, Cohen is looking to improve the Grey Cup in three areas: "The use of renewable, clean energy, waste management and carbon offsetting." Cohen said that he has listened to the young fans of the CFL and decided to the league could help influence people who don't know how to live a more green life.

According to the article, Cohen practices what he preaches as he drives a hybrid vehicle. Cohen also said that he expects 300,000 people will visit Toronto during the Grey Cup and that will create an huge impact of the environment.

Recently, the CFL determined that the "total carbon dioxide emissions associated with its championship game's energy use, paper and team air travel, according to a environmental audit. The league will try to balance this effect with a reforestation effort that will be held in British Columbia."

The CFL is also planning on partnering with Bullfrog Power to help provide clean energy during the Grey Cup festivities. CFL is also using Turtle Island to help provide the proper waste management and recycling services throughout the week of the Grey Cup as well as the game itself. Cohen did stress that this is not a one-year thing but he wants it to become a yearly initiative.

A quick shout out to Middlebury College ski team who are working hard to fund a wind farm project in Minnesota and North Dakota as well as a farm methane project. The ski team said that skiing is in jeopardy because of global warming. This effort is part of a service-learning project for environmental economics students.

Monday, November 5, 2007

NBC going green

Hello Readers,

Last night I was watching my Dallas Cowboys play the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football on NBC. At halftime the Cowboys were winning big but the thing that caught my eye was NBC is doing a "Green Week" called Green is Universal.

During the halftime show, NBC actually turned off the lights while they showed highlights and talked about the first half. They used candles and glow sticks so the viewers could see. Bob Costas, the host of the halftime show on NBC said that by turning off the studio lights they were saving enough power to run a entire house for a day. I thought that it was a very cool idea and knowing how many people watch prime time football I think it really could make a difference.

The NBC web site now is completely green and it evens has a "Green Week" page that gives tips to what people can do to live a more green lifestyle. Some of the tips include; taking a shorter shower to help save water and letting more natural light into your house and that will help lower your electricity. There are videos of Jay Leno talking about a car that gets 100 mpg as well as other green tips that NBC is hoping people will start to incorporate into their daily lives.

I think NBC is doing a great thing here because millions of people watch NBC on a daily basis and during their programming all they will see and hear is how people should live more green. On the NBC web site they have a slogan and it reads, "NBC Universal's new "Green is Universal" campaign kicks off Nov. 4th with a week of green-themed programming aimed at entertaining, informing and empowering Americans to lead greener lives."

Even on a daily soap such as "Days of out Lives" they are having a green wedding with two of the main characters. I don't think any other major television network is doing this kind of awareness to live a green lifestyle and I think it is a great idea. You can watch the video of the wedding online but NBC also lists ways to help and create a green your wedding.

I know I have talked about this before in one of my other postings but I thought it was appropriate to talk about it again. Even though I was born to hate the Philadelphia Eagles I must point out some good stuff they are doing (It makes it easier knowing the Cowboys beat the Eagles last night). During the Cowboys/Eagles game last night, John Madden pointed out that the Eagles are doing a great job of making their stadium more environmentally friendly. They showed on TV how the stadium has many recycling bins and as of November 2, 2007 the Eagles owner Christina Lurie unveiled plans to create an Eagles Forest with the help of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

According the Eagles web site, the Eagles Forest is a planned 6.5 acres grass site and Lurie said on the web site, ""Major sports teams have an impact on the environment, especially on game days,"" says Christina Lurie. ""We strive to be a responsible company, both in terms of the community and the environment. We want to set a positive environmental example for the league, the city and our fans. We are excited to partner with DCNR and hope that together we can make a positive impact on our planet."" The Eagles organization is looking to plant more than 20,000 trees, according to the Eagles web site.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Super Bowl trying to go Green

Hello Readers,

First I want to congratulate the Boston Red Sox for winning the World Series over the Colorado Rockies 4-0. I never thought the Sox would sweep a team as hot as the Rockies but they proved they are the best team in baseball. Now with baseball over, it's time to think about football and the upcoming playoffs in a few months.

I recently read a article in the Arizona Republic about how the National Football League wants to make the Super Bowl more environmental friendly. I think this is a great idea and with all the people that attend the Super Bowl, hopefully it will make a difference if everyone tries to recycle at major event like the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XLII is being held in Glendale, Ariz., at the University of Phoenix Stadium which is the home of the Arizona Cardinals. According to the Republic article, the city of Glendale and the NFL are expecting close to 125,000 visitors and that is a lot of trash that will be generated.

Consultant Jack Groh, who heads the NFL’s Environmental Program said in the article that about 1 million pounds of carbon dioxide will be generated during the time of the Super Bowl in Arizona.

According to the article, Groh is planning on meeting with officials in Arizona about possibly planting 30 acres of trees in Arizona to help offset the effects of the Super Bowl. According to the article, planting those trees will "add up to 10 times the number of saplings necessary to counter the carbon impact."

There are some other great things that the NFL is doing during Super Bowl week to help make a difference in the environment. The first is recycling at the Super Bowl. The article said that last year when the Super Bowl was being held in Miami, "70 percent of the 1,000 tons of solid waste was diverted from landfills and recycled."

During the Super Bowl there is obviously a lot of un-eaten food and the NFL is making an effort to deliver the food to local soup kitchens, churches and homeless shelters. I think this is a great idea. If you think about all the food that is cooked but never eaten at an event like the Super Bowl, all that food could feed the hungry for a long time. The NFL is also trying donate all the supplies that go into running the Super Bowl such as decorations, plants, merchandise, and building materials.

I think if the NFL continues this effort when the Super Bowl comes to Arizona then a lot of people less fortunate will benefit from what the NFL are trying to do. There is so much money generated from the Super Bowl it is nice to see that the NFL is trying to give back and not hurt the environment.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Trying For A Greener World

Hello Readers,

First congratulations are in order to the Boston Red Sox who again came back in the American League Championship Series defeating the Cleveland Indians in game seven last night. Also a quick shout out to my favorite team the Dallas Cowboys who are 6-1 and the top team in the NFC.

I found an interesting article about how the Olympics in 2008 are having meetings this week to discuss how they can make the Olympics in Beijing more green. According to the press release, on October 25-27 the 7th World Conference on Sport and Environment will be held in Beijing and the topics with be how to green major sports and the Olympic games. You can take a look at the web site here.

The two main concerns of the conference are how the "degraded environment can have on sport, the Olympic games and the athletes" The other issue is how sports and certain events have on the environment. At the conference there will be a progress report on the preparations of the Olympic games.

So after spending most of the weekend watching sporting events on television I remember seeing something on the web about a green TV. There is a web site called Green Energy TV. This is an online television channel that is "dedicated to airing Green/Alternative/Renewable Energy videos for millions of viewers around the world to see." I think this is pretty cool because it educates the viewers and gives people the opportunity to download their own videos. On the main page of the web site they have categories and different links that take you to videos of certain topics. This web site also has green tips that are interesting and I recommend you check them out. You can view the tips here.

There is a web site that I wanted to share with you about Top Green Cars. This web site has some cool pictures of green cars that are the future of sports racing. Volvo is developing a racing car that is environmentally friendly. You can check out the article here and make sure and check out the photos. This article breaks down what exactly makes up the car and I think it is pretty interesting. I would think the future of racing cars will be something like these cars where gas mileage is better and emissions is low.

Volvo is also coming out with a plug-in hybrid sports car. Just by looking at the picture I think I would drive one of these cars. According to the article, you can charge the battery by simply plugging in to a regular outlet and when charged you can drive the car for 62 miles. I want to share a quote with you that was in the article.

""This is a groundbreaking innovation for sustainable transportation. This plug-in hybrid car, when used as intended, should have about 66 percent lower emissions of carbon dioxide compared with the best hybrid cars available on the market today. Emissions may be even lower if most of the electricity comes from CO2-friendly sources such as biogas, hydropower and nuclear power. A person driving less than 60 miles per day will rarely need to visit a filling station. Also, thanks to the excellent electrical range from a fuel consumption angle, the Volvo ReCharge Concept is exceptionally kind to the car owner’s wallet," commented Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Cars in the article."

I am interested to see if Volvo has success with this car because other hybrids that have came out have not been extremely successful because the cars look funny but this car look normal and very sporty. I can honestly say that I would drive a car like this.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Saving the World One Lap at a Time

Hello Readers,

I wanted to start out by congradulating the Colorado Rockies who are one game away from sweeping my Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Championship Series.

I was recently reading online about the San Fransisco Giants stadium and how they added 590 solar panels to their baseball park. According to the Giants web site, "AT&T Park will be the first in Major League Baseball with solar panels and will bring about 120 kilowatts of energy for PG&E customers in the City and County of San Francisco."

The 590 solar panels are about the same as 40 home roof systems and the estimated cost of the panels is around 1 million dollars and the power generated by the panels will be able to power the Giants new scoreboard, according to the Giants web site.

I think this is the wave of the future for sports stadiums and I think that more stadiums should be utalizing solar panels expecially teams on the west coast where there is a lot of sun light year round.

I know I touched on the topic of Formula One going green but I felt it needed a little bit more talking about because it seems that they are making a big difference. Formula One is heading toward hybrid technology for future years and I think this is very important and could have a huge impact on racing sports. Fuel economy is a major issue for Formula One and that is why they are changing their policies.

Formula One races are not like Indy or Nascar races because F1 races are mostly done on road courses. Indy and Nascar races don't require their cars to stop and start like F1 races do. Becasue F1 races are on road courses the fuel consumption is very high due to cars going up to 200 mph and then braking and starting up again. This problem made F1 realize that something needs to be done. According to the F1 web site, the F1 cars gets about 4 miles per gallon! F1 tried the hybrid idea back in the 1990s but was stalled due to safety, according to the F1 web site.

I think this is important because F1 is not not the problem anymore but now trying to become a part of the solution. Indy cars are also starting to be a part of the solution because they are using ethanol and Nascar has also switched to unleaded gas.