A Greener Field

It’s a bad sign in sports when the commercial breaks are more
exciting than the game itself. Watching the Seattle Seahawks get
trounced in the Super Bowl may have provided momentary
entertainment. But the

green hue of the commercial interruptions
may actually have a
more lasting impact. Kermit the Frog was hocking Ford hybrid SUVs,
and Toyota was trying to win multicultural points by selling the
hybrid Camry to people who speak Spanish. It may seem like a
strange tack for ad agencies trying to cash in on sports fans’
frenzy. But these are not misdirected advertising dollars. In fact,
many sports are taking the idea of renewable energy and running
with it.

National Football League games create huge amounts of greenhouse
gasses from the use of stadium lights alone, not to mention all the
people driving hundreds of miles to get to the game. But the NFL is
trying to do something about it.
GreenBiz, a website devoted to environmentally
sustainable business news, reports that 2,400 trees were be planted
this year to try to offset the environmental damage caused by Super
Bowl XL. General Motors, a company that has been accused by many of

‘greenwashing,’
provided

five hybrid buses
to shuttle people around for the big game.
And, as
Utne.com previously reported, last December the
Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams tried for a
‘climate-neutral’ game by adding power to the grid from wind
projects and farm methane to offset the carbon pollution created by
the event.

Football isn’t the only sport making strides in renewable
energy. According to Treehugger, the Federation
Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has announced that
much of the

energy needed to power the World Cup in 2006 will come from
hydroelectric power
. Since hydroelectric power creates no
carbon dioxide emissions once it’s up and running, that’s even
better than planting trees.

Even some of the worst environmental offenders have realized
that it’s time to get in the game. Golf, a sport notorious for its
dependence on vast quantities of water, pesticides, and chemical
fertilizers, is seeing the emergence of
‘organically
managed golf courses,’
onearth reports. Some golfers
are even sporting the latest eco-fashions and using environmentally
friendly equipment http://www.ecogolf.com/. And NASCAR, a sport
that consists of gas-powered machines driving around in circles,
has decided to switch over to unleaded fuel by 2008 — a decision
that has been years in the making. As Texas Motor Speedway
President

Eddie Gossage told Speed Magazine
: ‘It’s the socially
responsible thing to do.’

Go there >>

Super Bowl Kicks Off Green Ads

Go there too >>

World Cup Taps Into Hydro Power

Related Links from the Utne
Archive:

Comments? Story tips?
Write a letter to the editor

Like this? Want more?Subscribe to Utne
magazine

UTNE
UTNE
In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.