08.28.12Martha Golea

Conservation Scores With Sports Fans

My first game at Fenway was a blast, which leads me to believe an awesome ballpark makes for a better experience. Cool new green initiatives could actually help fans enjoy the game more.

Sometimes I get the Diamondbacks and the Razorbacks confused. A few of my best naps have been at Chase Field during a game. Just last week I learned the difference between a short stop and a catcher. So if you think I’m not a baseball fan, you are correct.

Ok fine, I’m not much of a sports fan at all.*

But I am a sustainability fan, so when the EPA’s New York City blog posted “The Greening of America’s Favorite Pastime”, I was intrigued despite my apathy toward sports. Fan or not, some of the stats will knock your socks off.

  • A simple scoreboard uses enough energy to power 100 homes for a year
  • The 2008 All Star Game at Yankee Stadium was powered by 100% wind power
  • Replacing regular bulbs with LED’s in a scoreboard saved one team half a million dollars a year

Stadiums around the country are installing solar panels, low-flow toilets and sinks, state of the art water filtration systems, and implementing recycling programs, renewable energy sources, carbon offsets, the list goes on.
Met Life Stadium, “one of the greenest venues in sports”, has such a comprehensive sustainability plan it’s basically like the checklist for how to make a property green. Clearly someone on their staff is obsessed. (In a good way.)

What’s fascinating to me is that these changes that are happening in sports venues across the country probably are not diminishing fans’ experience at the game at all. Ballparks can save millions of gallons of water and millions of dollars on energy bills and nobody will even notice a difference. Same hot dogs, same beer, same dudes with their bodies painted team colors, same game – that’s what matters, right? It’s like we’re always saying, you can implement smart, simple changes to conserve resources without sacrificing your lifestyle.

Now I’m getting excited for football season. Go RedSox!

*So why do I keep writing about sports? Read my hockey post.


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Martha Golea

A seasoned communicator and passionate water conservationist, Martha Golea tracks projects in progress and reports on usage of new and exploratory irrigation technology and water management strategies. Martha also regularly contributes content on water management and conservation to Lawn & Landscape Magazine.




  1. Tuesday, 12:28 MomH2O

    It just felt like it was your turn to write and much to my good pleasure, there was your latest confession! Calli would fall over to think that you could get a Razorback confused with any other team…you have been to Razorback and Diamondback games…weren’t you reading a book on your phone during the Dback game?? Naw, you were just doing undercover work to learn more about the greening of stadiums!
    Thanks for the incredible statistics about how some of our teams are saving themselves a ton of green by going green!!
    Do you send your blogs to construction companies so that their folks working on their LEED certification can earn credits by subscribing/reading/responding to your company blog?
    Yes, I do read the writings of your fellow green team, but as has been said…yours get people to chuckle/laugh/roar, etc.
    Keep up the supergirl work…inbetween ball games!

  2. Tuesday, 1:53 Martha Golea

    Mom, I think I slept through the Dbacks game that we went to together, until the planes flew over and woke me! It would be really cool if people in the industry could earn LEED credits for reading our blog. I wonder if that’s possible… I think we even have one or two LEED AP’s on our blogger list.

  3. Tuesday, 8:33 Alan Harris

    MomH2O – I can clearly see (or read) Martha came by her wit and wisdom naturally…AKA the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
    Martha – thanks for the entertaining and educational piece. You were the highlight of my night…until I read the MomH2O response! Maybe we can get a guest blog?

  4. Wednesday, 5:08 Michael Chaplinsky

    I applaund Fenway for stepping ahead and implementing the first steps of Sustainable Sports Fields, but they should also look at the field, which is the foundation of the game.

    We have been implementing Sustainable Sports Fields for many years and can reduce water use up to 50% as well as fertilizer, chemicals, labor and energy, while improving the quality and fit into any budget.

    I work in golf, sports fields, resorts and landscapes and have been invited to speak at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit in Brunei in December.

    If you are serious about water Efficiency in am your partner to Change the Game and communidate the story.

    I have created a Sustainable Sports Field Savings worksheet that project the possible savings for one, two and five years by simply entering the data for that site.

    My Passion is high and Google me to see what I do. Michael Chaplinsky


  5. Wednesday, 5:51 Richard Restuccia

    Thank you for pointing out making sustainable changes does not cause anyone to enjoy the games or ball parks less. I think many people think sustainability means sacrifice and it doesn’t. Also I’d like to point out the Atlanta Braves installed a rain water harvesting system in 2011. They are using the water to water the landscape around the ball park.

  6. Wednesday, 12:37 Martha Golea

    Alan, believe it or not the wit is from Dad, wisdom is from Mom. Neither apple fell far. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!
    Richard, thanks for mentioning the Braves’ rainwater harvesting system. Love it!

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