Earth Day


I am often referred to as a “tree hugging hippie” which is actually kind of funny when you consider my favorite sport is the most “brutal” of them all. In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to congratulate the NHL in all of their efforts to encourage Going Green and the time and commitment they have invested into the environment and our future on our planet.

The Atlanta Thrashers were the first NHL or NBA team to obtain LEED certification for a previously existing building – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The LEED Certification is an internationally recognized certification program that ultimately verifies a building or community are using strategies ‘intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts’. (Wiki)

The Pittsburgh Penguins are now the first NHL team to obtain the LEED certification with their newly built CONSOL Energy Center.

Throughout the month of April, the Atlanta Thrashers have done several “going green” initiatives in 2011. From holding an electronic recycling program, to having the ushers walking the aisles to take recyclable products for fans and donating time, energy and money to Trees Atlanta for “Greening” the city. But, the NHL is a pretty big community and here are some things the other teams have been doing as well.

Anaheim Ducks have been holding the ‘Green Goal Shootout’ program. For each goal scored, Pinnacle Landscape is donating a tree to the Children’s Hospital of Orange County. On Earth Day, anyone who would bring in recyclables to the practice arena would get the opportunity to participate in ‘Duck’s Grab Bag” to win prizes.

Buffalo Sabres teamed up with the Buffalo Niagra Riverkeeper and National Fuel to clean up the Ohio Street Boat Launch.

Detriot Red Wings held a “Going Green” night, handing out t-shirts and having environmental educators in the concourses during the game.

The Minnesota Wild, on May 13 will be cleaning up the Xcel Energy Center, St Paul River Centre and Roy Wilkins Auditorium.

The Nashville Predators continually collect, sort and correctly dispose of aluminum, paper, plastic and cooking oils. They are also pursuing additional building upgrades to make their building more green.

New York Rangers, using non toxic paints, transformed an old fitness center into a computer lab for youths using bamboo flooring, eco-friendly clay walls, solar shades and energy efficient computers.

Phoenix Coyotes held a month long event collecting and recycling old cell phones and have created a Going Green initiative here that, hopefully they can stick around to continue in Phoenix.

San Jose Sharks held a monthly “Greenest Fan Sweepstakes”, held recycling events where fans who brought in items to be recycled got to watch morning skate and adopted Cowell’s beach in Santa Cruz for clean up. There will be at least 3 cleanups during the off season.

Tampa Bay Lightning also hosted a “Go Green” night to encourage recycling and awareness. People who brought in recycled items (including old jerseys) got a discounted ticket and those that rode their bicycle got a complimentary ticket. For the fans that donated old car and boat batteries outside St Pete Times Forum to have them safely recycled, they received two complimentary tickets.

Toronto Maple Leafs participated in “20 minute Toronto Makeover” in which you were to stop what you were doing at 2pm and clean for 20 minutes, cleaning outside your workplace or home.
Washington Capitals cleaned up outside Fort Dupont Ice Arena planting and mulching, sweeping and clearing brush.

Ever wonder what happens with all the prepared but unused food? Does it all get thrown away, filling landfills with more waste? Not anymore! All 30 teams this season participated in a Rock and Wrap it up program donating this food to local shelters and have provided 150,000 meals across North America to date.

The Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild have all been given special achievement honors by the Environmental Protection Agency for their efforts.

Players like Andrew Ference who created the Carbon Neutral Challenge take their dedication a step further by incorporating their fight to reduce our carbon footprint on a personal level as well. Scott Niedermayer drives a hybrid car, Willie Mitchell has wind-powered energy at his residence and Zdeno Chara carpools whenever he can’t ride his bike.

Do you know any other players or teams that go out of their way to help keep regenerating our planet?

Tags: Anaheim Ducks Atlanta Thrashers Buffalo Niagra Riverkeeper Buffalo Sabres Chicago Blackhawks Columbus Blue Jackets Detroit Red Wings Earth Day Minnesota Wild Nashville Predators NHL Phoenix Coyotes San Jose Sharks Toronto Mapleleafs

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