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These are hard economic times and whatever effort is made to survive through the crisis is worth appreciating. One of these efforts relate to putting strategic plans to use environmental thinking on whatever is being done, to survive the hard economic times. A core area which until now had neglected its responsibilities of thinking about the environment has changed gears. Yes, we are talking about the major sporting events.

Larger than life that they are, all major sporting events have had some kind of environmental impact once the events have got over. Nevertheless things are changing now. Organizers, teams, participants and spectators are realizing the potential to utilize their efforts in negating or at least minimizing the effects of such major events.

The United States is doing its bit by trying to go green on all major sporting events and the sometime-back concluded Vancouver Olympics are the best example of the effort. Besides the green advertising and operations carried out at the Olympics, authorities tried to motivate large groups to change their behavior and be more reasonable and responsible when around any major sporting event.

With the crowd gathering being in millions at any of these sporting events, you can think of the environmental impact that such a large gathering could have. All these fans coming as spectators would be using a lot of energy, both by driving down to the venue and at the venue itself. Tens of thousands of hours of energy, gallons of water would be used while a large amount of waste would be produced. So, how can all this be reduced thinking of the thousands of football, baseball, NFL and other games being held every now and then? The answer lies in the way the Super Bowl series’ organizers and some other committed teams are trying to tackle some of these issues.

The green wave has surely hit the sporting world and they are trying to do whatever they can to not only reduce their environmental impact but also the costs associated with such wastage. Vendors and sponsors are coming up with new technologies and operational processes that can be experimented at these events.

The Team Effort – The Philadelphia Eagles

The team can be called the leader in making sports a greener event. The team has a few accomplishments to its name such as the reduction in use of energy by 42% with the use of effective conservation and building management system, reduction in the use of water by 53% with the use of smaller flush toilets and better management approaches. Initially, just as any one would be, the organizers were skeptical of the issue but once they realized how much money they were saving on energy, they turned supporters. The team, the owners and the managers are now talking seriously to fans to do their bit.

Vendors and suppliers – Waste Management

While the effort to a have a greener environmental impact is more of a personal issue, choosing partners who could help in this matter is always great. Wisely choosing the supply chains is yet another fact that vendors and suppliers at the major sporting events are realizing. For this reason, Waste Management, the company which was the sponsor of the Phoenix Open also took over as the back-end vendor to handle the garbage and waste produced by the fans. The company installed reverse vending machines that gave rewards and points to deposit the beverage containers. They even had trash can machines that were using solar energy to crush the cans alongside, saving both on energy to compact the trash and fuel on picking them up. The company is aiming for a 70% recycling standard for sporting events that it undertakes.

So, the trend is picking up and efforts are being to make the sporting events have greener environmental impact. The US is doing its bit; Are you?

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