President Obama names October 6th, 2016 Green Sports Day."On this inaugural Green Sports Day, let us rededicate ourselves to safeguarding the one planet we share and strive to encourage sports fans across the globe to do the same." -President Barack Obama
In addition to congratulating the Pittsburgh Penguins for their 2016 Stanley Cup win, President Obama also acknowledged their and the NHL's commitment to the environment, naming today the first annual Green Sports Day. "Individuals and organizations across the country are stepping up to take action on climate change through sports, from the greening of athletic facilities, to preparing for the impacts of extreme heat on players, to educating and engaging fans."
Following a call to action and round table held this summer by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), both part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, OSTP has announced a list of innovative actions to tackle climate change through sports. The federal and non-federal actions (described in detail in the OSTP Fact Sheet) will individually be led by:
- Department of Energy (DOE)
- Department of State
- Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL Team)
- National Hockey League
- 11th Hour Racing
- 55 South
- Green Sports Alliance
- How Low Can You Go? Challenge
- I AM PRO SNOW
- Korey Stringer Institute
- Mercedes-Benz Stadium
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Protect Our Winters
- San Francisco 49ers
- San Francisco Giants
- Sustainable Business Partnerships and Green Sports Alliance
- The University of Chicago
- The University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder)
- U.S. Tennis Association
More on CU Boulder's commitmentThe University of Colorado was the first NCAA Division 1 team to have a green sports program (Ralphie's Green Stampede established in 2008). CU's Folsom Field is also the home of zero-waste game days. Having proved their commitment to sustainability (this season they unveiled a net-zero Indoor Practice Facility), the Buffs have focused their attention on fans. Through various fan engagement methods and programs, Ralphie's Green Stampede is leveraging the power of sport to encourage fans to practice sustainable behaviours at home, work, and play.
This focus is exemplified in Water for the West, a comprehensive water initiative that launched during last year's basketball season, and will expand to football at the team's Sustainable Gameday on October 15th. Water for the West asks fans to pledge via text to conserve water. For each pledge, 1000 gallons of CU's water use is offset with Colorado River Basin restoration projects. They then keep in touch with fans through text message, providing tips for meeting their pledge and updates on the Buffs H2O successes. Water for the West also created a program called FLOWS that sends students into the community to install low-flow water fixtures in community-members' homes.