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04/18/08 11:27 PM ET
Mariners going green for Earth Day
Seattle to play host to first carbon-neutral game Tuesday
By Jim Street / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- The Mariners are going green for a day. In conjunction with Earth Day, which is Tuesday, the Mariners are teaming up with Cedar Grove Composting to stage the first carbon-neutral game in Major League history. 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 Orioles. Global warming impacts include: *Emissions associated with electricity and natural gas used to operate Safeco Field. * 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 pollution will be generated from these energy use activities, according to a Mariners press release. 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 support new renewable energy projects, and 58,000 kilowatt hours of "green power" credits from the Seattle City Light Green Up program. King County executive Ron Sims, whose approach to sustainability has earned him an international reputation, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch in the opener of a three-game series. "We know that just buying carbon offsets isn't enough," said Howard Lincoln, the Mariners' chairman 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." The Mariners last year recycled 342 tons of plastic bottles, paper, cardboard, cans and glass and 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. Also, 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. 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. 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.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.