The National Football League currently does not have the best reputation. However most of the blame likely lies with the NFL players themselves. Since the actions and poor decision making of these footballers is greatly out of NFL control, they have started going green. Hopefully their intentions are not just to improve their overall image, but also to make an actual difference in the world.
One NFL franchise in particular, is truly becoming a green team and that is not only referring to the color of their jerseys. The Philadelphia Eagles started their Go Green program all the way back in 2003. At that point the initiative was rather simple with putting a trashcan under the desk of every Philadelphia Eagles employees. Now the Go Green program has exploded into massive amount of environmental efforts.
Let’s begin with highlighting the recycling and composting going on at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the “Birds.” Since 2007, they have increased their recycling diversion rate from 13.02% to 98.90%. In order accomplish this major improvements, the Eagles have switched to corn-based foods and beverage containers, started recycling cooking oil and even have a “Green Team” which goes through every bag of trash, hunting for recyclables.
Just in the years between 2010 – 2012 Lincoln Financial Field has recycled 209% more materials. In 2012 alone, they have recycled 341 tons of aluminum, glass and various plastics. This amount of recycled materials is equivalent to about 8.5 tractor trailer trucks.
The Philadelphia Eagles are also actively involved in reforestation. They have created what is known as “Eagles Forest” in nearby Neshaminy, Pennsylvania and have planted over 4,200 since 2008. This green team even has its own brand of cleaning products that are free of any chemicals.
This National Football League organization operations are obviously environmentally friendly, but the stadium itself takes it to a whole new green level. Thanks to a partnership with NRG Energy, they were able to create the largest solar power system in the entire NFL. With 11,108 solar panels and 14 huge wind turbines, they are able to produce enough green energy to fuel the entire stadium.
Lincoln Financial Field is now considered completely off the grid and has recently been recognized for their green efforts. The stadium received the LEED Silver Certification, which is a highly coveted award for only the most environmentally friendly buildings. This trend will hopefully spread throughout the rest of the National Football League.
For the most part, NFL stadiums are not green at all. These huge structures take up a great deal of valuable landscape and only used on average 10 times every year. That combined with the tremendous amount of trash fans create as they tailgate and cheer on their respective teams. It is truly a recipe for damaging the environment.
Slowly, but surely other NFL teams are getting their act together. Since the National Football League is a “non-profit,” you would think there is ample opportunity and resources to supply its Franchisees with monetary motivation to become more green. However with the recent events, it is okay to have environmentally friendly efforts take a back seat… for the time being.