The Real Green Monster: Game 4

Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays – September 30, 2016

This game was all about Big Papi from the beginning, and in case you don’t know Big Papi (David Ortiz), he is a fairy tale of a baseball player. Not only has he had a truly amazing career, posting career stats like 540 HRs (541 after last night) and a .931 OPS, but he thrives in high-pressure, clutch situations. He’s the type of player to promise a sick kid in a hospital a homerun and hit 2 homeruns instead. Also, let’s not forget that without Big Papi, we as Red Sox fans might be on our 96th year of the Curse of the Bambino. Therefore, it was only fitting that he was honored last night for his play and generosity off the field.

The rainy weather tried its best to put a damper on the game, but couldn’t do more then delay the game for 45 minutes. Surprisingly, Blue Jays fans turned out in full force, and I heard plenty of goofy Canadian accents to get me through the night with a grin. Also, one has to hand it to their fans for being good sports, and applauding Big Papi, even though it was probably more on behalf of the fact he’s leaving than the fact they appreciate his career. Also, from what I saw, they held their composure despite obnoxious Red Sox fans jeering them all game long. Even I found myself taking a break from recycling to poke fun at a Jays fan in the ninth inning, when it seemed like it was a sure victory for the Sox.

“Hey. Maybe next year,” I said with a shrug and a smug smile.

The guy looked at me and smiled back, but then quickly frowned when he realized I might be using sarcasm….which I was. Next, he noticed my Green Team t-shirt and bag full of recyclables, and began scheming ways to get back at me. Sitting in a cup-holder, in the aisle in front of him, was an innocent-looking empty Bud Light can. He picked it up and tossed it to the ground, looking over at me as if to say “what are you going to do now?”

Overall, recycling was a challenge this game. I felt sluggish, despite pushing myself to at least get 25 bags, and the wet weather made each bag a bit heavier. The majority of the paper fiber hot dog trays were soaked from the rain, which leads to the question whether or not paper can be recycled if it is wet? I’ve heard from somewhere that it lowers the quality too much to be recovered.

After a quick google search, the rumor was confirmed. “Wet paper products are highly undesirable and often times even unacceptable to recyclers. There are a variety of reasons: Moisture harms paper fibers, leaving them brittle and generally unsuitable for making into new paper. And then there is the (very important) issue of pay, namely: paper mills do not want to pay the extra weight of water…” (Recycling Revolution).

I guess I learn something new about material recovery everyday.


Methodology section to explain the metrics below.

Weather: Rain delay, and constant drizzle                                        Date: 9/30/16
# of bags collected as a team


Contamination Errors


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


A group of six or so volunteers came from Northeastern University, and achieved around 10 bags total. Although, when I approached them before the game, none of them seemed very keen on talking to me about recycling. I asked their group leader for her email, so that I could get their official bag total at the end, but she looked at me like a has a spider on my forehead. Oh well. At least, I found my first rummager’s ruby! A fan-made sign showing appreciation for the big man, or otherwise a large piece of dry, good-quality paper.


# of steps walked 18,357
# of individual bags collected 25
Scavenger Efficiency Rate (steps per bag) 734.3

Got my exercise in yesterday. Combined with the time I spent volunteering at the Watertown Recycle Center in the morning, my total day came out to 31,374 steps. That’s mailman-esque! Also, as far as efficiency goes, it wasn’t a very efficient scavengering. Mainly, due to the rain delay and low fan consumption numbers.

2016 Season Green Team Totals

Season total (less contaminated bags)

 165 bags

 +34  bags
Season total CO2 equivalent savings

2.61 mt

+0.54  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 6  oil
Tree seedlings grown for ten years 67.6  adfsdf

Methodology behind these numbers

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 and baseball. . 

Check out his Twitter or Linkedin profiles for more information about him.

Featured photo credit: Jim Davis, Boston Globe


2 thoughts on “The Real Green Monster: Game 4

  1. Hi Charlie. Stopping by from the Harvard Ed Portal Job Search meetup. This is a really cool cause that you’re blogging about. I enjoyed reading how you bring the world of sports and recycling together, even in less than stellar climate conditions. The stats show the hard work so keep it up! Have you filmed any of these experiences for your blog? An instagram clip could be another fun way to capture the recycling process in different settings and share that with followers.


  2. Thanks for reading Tatia. I’ve never thought about a Instagram video per se, but I definitely think some video media content would be cool. Maybe even a go pro that follows me around the stadium as I recycle. Still, I’d love to hear more about your idea the next time we meet at Harvard Ed Portal. Your blog is amazing by the way. Very professional.


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