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It’s Earth Day! See how the Giants are cleaning up the planet with every pitch.

Happy Earth Day! The Giants are one of MLB’s leaders in advancing the cause of responsible energy use and sustainable waste measures.

Solar Eclipse Visible Across Swath Of U.S. Photo by NASA via Getty Images

Today’s Earth Day, a day that reminds us that every bit of waste we make causes unknowable misery for flora and fauna somewhere else in the world. That straw I used to drink my iced coffee with no doubt wound up in a tortoise’s nose. The phone I’m going to use later to read your comments underneath this article not only causes suicides at the factory where it was made, but creates toxic earth that no doubt finds its way into water tables. Sorry about that! I’m a monster!

Human beings just make a mess wherever they go. And we work really hard to make sure we have to do the bare minimum to clean up after ourselves, even affecting laws to make sure we can just dump waste into the ocean. In recent years, the idea of “being green” has been built up as good public relations, and a lot of organizations have done some work to make the appeal to Money that sustainability efforts can also help reduce costs. The San Francisco Giants have, in particular, have heeded the clarion call for responsible energy use and waste management and are one of baseball’s leaders in this area.

Baseball stadiums generate a lot of waste, and not just wasted time between pitches, pitches that are wasted by hitters fouling them off, or wasted scoring opportunities. Think about all the containers your food comes in, all the souvenir packaging, foam fingers, electricity, etc. etc. It feels overwhelming to think about it all, but the Giants have developed some initiatives to deal with the sheer tonnage of waste generated every single time a scheduled game is played.

  • Garden at AT&T Park
    Oh, you didn’t know there was a garden behind the center field wall? Check it out.
  • LEED certified
    LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and it’s a certification system specifically for buildings in terms of their energy efficiency and sustainability.
  • Installed LED lighting
    These use less energy than the standard florescent lighting and can last decades.
  • Installed solar panels
    The Giants were one of the first teams to install panels at their stadium. They’ve since been dwarfed by the Padres, who have the largest solar panel system in the league.
  • Diverted waste from landfills
    93% of stadium waste has been diverted from area landfill. The remaining 7% is an ill-fated Year of the Gamer promo from Aaron Rowand’s second season. They bought way too many fake-bloodied bandaids and fake walls you can run into.
  • Installed an underground sprinkler system
    This helps the grounds crew “spot sprinkle” (my term) of the field so there’s no overwatering.

You can read more about MLB’s sustainability efforts from this giant press release, but I pulled a few other choice bits from it and pasted here:

MLB to Donate Excess Food Following ‘MLB FoodFest’
Following the first-ever ‘MLB FoodFest’, Major League Baseball will donate excess food to City Harvest, the world’s first food rescue organization, dedicated to helping feed the nearly 1.3 million New Yorkers facing hunger. ‘MLB Foodfest’ is a one-of-a kind indoor food festival featuring special selections from each of the 30 MLB Clubs served under one roof. The event will be held over two days beginning on Saturday, April 21st and concluding on Sunday, April 22nd in New York City.

Club Initiatives
Major League Baseball was the first professional sports league to have all of its Clubs as members of the Green Sports Alliance, which promotes healthy, sustainable communities in sports. In fact, MLB Clubs diverted more than 20,000 tons of recycled or composted waste during the 2017 season. Each year, MLB awards the eco-friendliest Club with its ‘Green Glove Award,’ with the Seattle Mariners winning for the first time in 2017.

Upcycling With Refried Tees
As part of its green initiative, Major League Baseball recognizes upcycling as an innovative means toward a green and sustainable future. In support of those efforts, MLB licensee Refried Tees is proud to display MLB’s Official Green Label on its Twice-Baked™ Apparel. Refried Tees helps teams and licensees cycle surplus inventory back into the marketplace by transforming dead-stock tee shirts and jerseys into stylish apparel such as dresses, skirts and t-shirts.
Link to Refried Tees main site
Link to Refried Tees San Francisco Giants catalogue

Do you ever think about how you handle your waste? Some people compost, other people are really good about recycling. Still others are even better at bringing their own water bottle or reusable containers or avoiding straws altogether. Me? I’m still thinking about that tortoise.