04/18/2008 6:40 PM ET
Seattle Mariners go carbon neutral on Earth Day
Mariners join with Cedar Grove Composting to highlight sustainable practices and encourage fans to "Join the Green Team"
In celebration of Earth Day, April 22, the Seattle Mariners are joining with Cedar Grove Composting to stage the first carbon-neutral game in Major League Baseball history. The game also serves as an opportunity to educate fans about what they can do to reduce their own carbon impact. County Executive Ron Sims, whose holistic approach to sustainability has earned him an international reputation, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
To achieve "carbon-neutral" status, the Mariners will offset the global warming impact of energy used at Safeco Field during the game between the Mariners and the Baltimore Orioles. Global warming impacts include:
Emissions associated with electricity and natural gas used to operate Safeco Field on April 22.
Disposal or recycling of waste generated during the game.
Air travel emissions for the Orioles (from Baltimore), Mariners (from Los Angeles) and umpires for the game.
Hotel-related emissions for Orioles and the umpires.
Ground travel to and from the ballpark by staff and fans.
More than 230 short tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution will be generated from these energy use activities. To offset the impact of these emissions, the Mariners will purchase high quality carbon offsets from NativeEnergy, a leading carbon offsets company that helps build and supports new renewable energy projects, and 58,000 kWh of "green power" credits from the Seattle City Light Green Up program.
The NativeEnergy offsets will be generated by a new farmer-owned methane project in Pennsylvania and a farmer-owned distributed wind project in the Midwest. The City Light credits, generated by the Stateline Wind Project in eastern Washington, will support the development of new, renewable energy facilities throughout the Northwest.
"We know that just buying carbon offsets isn't enough," said Howard Lincoln, Mariners Chair and CEO. "This is not a one-time event for us. We are committed to a comprehensive program of recycling and conservation so that we are operating Safeco Field and the entire Mariners organization in a way that minimizes our impact on the environment."
"Cedar Grove is honored to be collecting and composting food scraps at Safeco Field in partnership with the Seattle Mariners," said Steve Banchero, Cedar Grove Composting Owner and CEO. "With the high volumes and fast pace of operations on game days, the Mariners have proven that even the largest commercial business can make food waste programs a success. This outstanding leadership sets an important example for Northwest businesses and residents. Through their efforts, the Mariners have diverted 100 tons of recyclable organics, resulting in the removal of 93 metric tons of C02e from the environment. The best part is that the nutrient rich compost created from yard and food waste is used to grow healthy plants and gardens throughout the region, locally closing the recycling loop."
Several agencies will be available at the game to help fans learn more about how they can reduce their own carbon impact. Cedar Grove will hand out packets of seeds and provide fans with a coupon for discounts on their compost products, made from recycled food and yard waste collected in King and Snohomish Counties. Cedar Grove will also staff three locations at Safeco Field where fans can recycle their food waste and food-contaminated paper at Sections 128 and 185 on the Main Concourse and Section 329 on the Upper Concourse.,p>
Others providing information to fans are: Seattle City Light, Seattle Public Utilities, King County Department of Natural Resources, Resource Venture and EarthLab, a Kirkland based organization that educates people about ways they can reduce their carbon footprint.
Join the Green Team
The Mariners Earth Day Carbon-Neutral Game is part of the team's overall effort to operate more sustainability. Here are some of the ways the team is "going green":
In 2007, the Mariners recycled 342 tons of plastic bottles, paper, cardboard, cans and glass.
Last year, the Mariners became one of two Major League teams to recycle food waste, diverting 100 tons of food scraps and food-contaminated paper from the waste stream to be made into compost by Cedar Grove.
Through an energy efficiency program, the Mariners have so far reduced the use of natural gas by 36 percent and electricity consumption by 18 percent.
All diesel-powered motorized groundskeeping equipment runs on B-20 biodiesel.
Flow-restricting aerators have been installed on all restroom faucets.
All plastic cups used in the ballpark are made of biodegradable, compostable plastic.
When plastic bowls, plates and utensils are used, they contain less plastic by volume, which will reduce waste by 18,000 per season.
Paper products in all bathrooms contain paper towels, tissues and toilet paper that are elemental chlorine free and made from 40 percent post-consumer fiber.
MLB Goes Green
The Mariners and all 30 Major League teams are supported in these sustainability efforts by the recently unveiled Major League Baseball Team Greening Program. Spearheaded by MLB Commissioner Alan H. "Bud" Selig, in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the program is a web-based guide designed to help each team reduce its environmental impact. Advice is offered in such areas as front office operations, ballpark operations and maintenance, team and fan transportation, energy use, paper use, concessions operations, green-events planning, recycling and waste management.
About Cedar Grove Composting
Cedar Grove Composting is part of a family-owned 400-employee enterprise with roots in the waste management business going back to 1938. As the Pacific Northwest's leading organic recycling company, Cedar Grove transforms grass, leaves, yard trimmings, food waste and wood waste into the finest nutrient-rich compost. From a humble beginning, Cedar Grove has developed a full line of Healthy Soils with a loyal following, such that Cedar Grove Composting has grown to become one of the largest yard waste composting facilities in the United States. For more information about Cedar Grove Composting go to: www.cgcompost.com.