The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
Washington — At 6:30 EST Sunday, millions of Americans will flip on their HDTVs to watch athletes compete under stadium-sized lights and mammoth video screens for some 60,000 fans in 1.7 million square feet of climate-controlled space.
It’s called the Super Bowl, and it uses a lot of power.
In 2012, the game in Indianapolis used around 15,000 megawatt-hours of electricity. The next year’s Super Bowl, in the New Orleans‘ SuperDome, pumped out 3.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide (even though the power went out in the middle of the game). And that’s not even counting the jet fuel and gasoline guzzled to get players, media, and countless fans to the event.
But that’s not to say the beloved game has to be an environmental menace. The National Football League is working to address its mammoth energy and environmental impacts by kicking off green initiatives – from planting trees to installing solar panels to purchasing renewable energy offsets.
The Super Bowl is an energy-guzzling, carbon-emitting, trash-generating machine, and Sunday’s tournament promises to be no different. Tens of thousands of football fans will take petroleum-powered flights to Glendale, Arizona, to watch the New England Patriots square off against reigning champions, the Seattle Seahawks. Visitors will eat mountains of food and drink rivers of beer and soda in the stadium and at related events, and they’ll flip on lights and shower off in dozens of hotels.
“Any large activity has the potential to generate a significant amount of waste … and use of lot of resources,” says Jack Groh, the director of the National Football League’s environmental program since 1993. But that’s why the NFL works year-round with host cities and corporate sponsors to minimize the environmental toll of the massive sporting event. “We turn what could be a negative impact on the community into a positive impact,” he says.
At the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis, for instance, the Lucas Oil Stadium and related venues used around 15,000 megawatt-hours of electricity, enough to power about 1,400 average U.S. homes for a year. To counteract that energy use, the utility Green Mountain Energy provided an equal amount of “renewable energy credits” to support energy production from carbon-free sources such as wind turbines and solar panels, according to an Indiana sustainability report.
The Super Bowl is a huge event – people travel from all over to attend pre-game events starting with the Pro Bowl the week before and leading up to the game on Sunday February 1st. Now while all of this is a really exciting time, unfortunately all of the people and events can have a very large environmental impact. However the folks at this year’s host stadium, The University of Phoenix Stadium, and the NFL have all been hard at work doing amazing things to make the 2015 Super Bowl the greenest yet.
Jack Groh, director of the NFL Environmental Program said it best when he said, “It’s not so much about how much of the problem do you create, it’s about how much of the problem are you willing to take responsibility for?” From everything that they have done and continue to do on the green front, it is clear that the NFL is serious about making this a very green Super Bowl 2015.
No matter who you’re rooting for in this weekend’s Super Bowl, solar energy is going to come out on the winning side.
For the fourth time in just three years, a major professional sports championship will be decided on Sunday by teams which have invested significantly in clean, dependable solar energy, according to a new, first-of-its-kind analysis released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
In what some are calling the “Solar Super Bowl,” the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, whose stadiums rank fifth and sixth among all sports franchises in installed solar capacity, will play for the NFL championship on Sunday in Super Bowl XLIX and bragging rights for fans of clean energy. Last year’s World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals also featured “solar champions,” as did the 2013 World Series – pairing the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals – and Super Bowl XLVI between the Patriots and New York Giants in 2012.
Today, more and more sports teams and organizations are making significant investments in solar energy because it makes senses – from both an economic and environmental standpoint.
From a series of five tree planting events to an electronics recycling drive to local students helping other students, Super Bowl XLIX has already been a win for the local community, and the environment.
Over the last year, the NFL, the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Verizon and a number of local government and nonprofit organizations have worked together with a common goal of “greening” this year’s Super Bowl.
The National Football League has spent more than two decades addressing the environmental impact of Super Bowl events and activities and made for a perfect extension of Verizon’s sponsorship of the league. Verizon shares a commitment to sustainability and has collected 1.9 million pounds of e-waste since the launch of its recycling rally program in 2009.
Highlights of our joint efforts leading up to Super Bowl XLIX include:
— 170 trees were planted in communities in five city parks in Tempe, Mesa, Phoenix and Glendale over the past nine months. The initiative marks the 10th anniversary of the NFL’s Super Bowl Urban Forestry Program.
— More than 500 phones were recycled through HopeLine from Verizon through the Super Kids-Super Sharing program that repurposes new or gently used school supplies, books and sporting equipment to benefit underserved school children. As part of the thank you ceremony at the event, Verizon made a $10,000 donation to the Back to School Clothing Drive organization in support of their efforts to support children affected by domestic violence.
— More than 350 local residents from the Valley recycled 44 pallets, or nearly 24,000 lbs., of electronics (and more than 100 wireless phones through HopeLine) at the E-Waste Recycling Rally at Desert Ridge Marketplace, helping to keep those items out of local landfills.
Before the coin is tossed at this weekend’s big game, the greater Phoenix community already has a “win” in the record books and has created a positive environmental legacy that will extend far beyond the game on Feb. 1.
At BPI Campus our Progressive Agenda is:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.
Reader Comments Welcome. Share Eco News stories you have seen here…please be sure to attribute them. Comments with violations of Fair Use guidelines may be edited.