Red Sox vs. Yankees – August 10, 2016
Working my second Yankees vs. Red Sox game in a row at Fenway Park, I was skeptical if the scattered bunch of Yankees fans had it in them to participate in something as communal as recycling. I mean, I know that the Yankees are spectacular at recycling wash-up talent year after year, but I doubt they’d know anything about aluminum or plastic. I was later proven wrong by two elderly ladies sporting “Babe Ruth” and “Lou Gehrig” jerseys (two respectable ex-Yankees), who dropped their perfectly clean hot dog trays into my bag and said “thank you” both smiling back at me. I’m getting cynical I guess.
Before the game was set to begin, I went for a little walk around the upper level of the balcony. Walking up the staircase on the third-base side brought me past Fenway Farms, the rooftop garden where they harvest 4,000 lbs of fresh produce each year. The kale stalks alone were so big, they looked like they would’ve taken a lumberjack to cut them down. I also encountered Children’s Hospital drop boxes at every exit for returnable cans and bottles. The proceeds from depositing each can and bottle, at 5 cents a piece, is then funneled to Children’s Hospital. Just assuming that each of the 10,000 fans that are seated in the upper level drink one beer or soda, and deposit it into one of the drop boxes, would result in $500 per game and $40,500 per season. All for the good causes of recycling and children’s health.
Sustainability initiatives, such as these, are pretty commonplace at MLB stadiums nowadays; whether its Miller Park in Milwaukee becoming LEED certified, or the Oakland Athletics handing out over 10,000 redwood tree seedlings to fans as an Earth Day promotional. Although, I have to say that the Red Sox do a pretty good job relative to their peers. At Fenway, the concessionaire partner, Aramark, composts the left-over food after the games, and there are solar panels installed on the roof-tops, which heat the stadium’s water. It’s impressive if you think about it, because the Red Sox are in a business environment where the performance of the team and ticket sales are central to their success. Yet, still they manage to run sustainability initiatives on a large scale. I wish more businesses would take a page from the them, and realize that it’s not too difficult.
Here’s a video that explains the greening of Fenway Park in better detail. The video is a bit antiquated, and says that the Green Team is made up of “20-40 volunteers” each game, which isn’t accurate anymore. In 2008, there was apparently a large group of BU students who would regularly volunteer for the Green Team and collect recycling. I can only imagine how much CO2 equivalent savings could be achieved with 40 or 50 people obtaining around ten bags each. *Sigh*. Not surprisingly, I was the only one working this game, which can probably be blamed on the before-game rain and mugginess.
Methodology section to explain the metrics below.
Weather: Wet and humid Date: 8/10/16
|# of bags collected as a team||
|Final # of bags||
|# of bags collected in sampled section after the game||
|# of people sitting in sampled section during the game||
|Attendance at game||
|Estimated total # of bags in stadium||
|Team Bagging Average||
Overall, it was not a great night for recycling. I managed only half of the previous night’s bag total, and thus my Bagging Average dropped significantly. The one Contamination Error occurred when a crunchy granola-looking guy with dreadlocks managed to sneak a handful of opened ketchup packets past me into my bag. I guess that’s what I get for judging a book by its cover, and assuming he was a person aware of the benefits of recycling solely based on his looks. From my past experience, participating in recycling doesn’t coincide with a certain “type” of person. People choose to recycle or not for many different reasons depending on their motives…not their appearances.
|# of steps walked||12,844|
|# of individual bags collected||23|
|Scavenger Efficiency Rate (steps per bag)||558.4|
2016 Season Green Team Totals
|Season total (less contaminated bags)||
|+ 22 bags|
|Season total CO2 equivalent savings||
+ 0.35 mt
|Season’s CO2 Equivalent Savings equal to:|
|Miles driven in an average passenger vehicle||
|Gallons of gasoline consumed||
|Pounds of coal burned||
|Propane cylinders used for home barbecues||
|Incandescent lamps switched to LEDs||
|Barrels of oil consumed||2.4|
|Tree seedlings grown for ten years||26.9|
The author of this post and leading participant of the Red Sox Green Team, is Charlie Pioli; a recent graduate from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Economics and an unhealthy passion for the environment. He believes recycling is a huge boon for the earth, but far from the answer to solving the worldwide waste problem.