This post was contributed by Gina Stowe. Find out how you can contribute to Ecorazzi.
I was motivated to investigate the ecological commitment of the team we Philadelphians affectionately refer to as “The Birds” because of the Go Green message that has, for some time, been flashing prominently on the billboard along I-95 outside of Lincoln Field. It turns out that the Eagles truly have taken their “green” initiative way beyond the color of their uniforms.“A goal of the Eagles organization is to help make a positive impact on our environmental footprint,” Christina Weiss Lurie, owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, has said. To that end, the Eagles have helped revitalize Franklin Square Park at 6th and Race Streets in Philadelphia by contributing close to 200 shrubs and trees to be planted at the Square. In addition, the Eagles now reimburse employees who purchase wind energy through PECO Wind and New Jersey Clean Power Energy Programs. The Eagles are now the first organization to offer such reimbursements. As set forth on the Eagles site, such a program yields impressive results:
If an employee purchases 300 kWh of wind energy, it is the equivalent of not releasing 3,950 pounds of carbon dioxide, 27 pounds of sulfur dioxide, and 8 pounds of nitrogen Dioxide. The CO2 reductions are equivalent to planting 268 trees every year or not driving 3,600 miles. Considering the Eagles already have at least 100 employees participating, that equals 360,000 miles not driven or more than 26,800 trees planted.
Other Go Green initiatives include a $125,000 donation to Treevitalize – a public-private partnership to restore tree cover to the Philadelphia area, an avid recycling program at Lincoln Financial Field, and participation (along with the St. Louis Rams) in the first-ever football game that used a renewable energy project (a Native American wind energy project, to be exact) to help offset game-related CO2, caused by travel and accommodations related to the game.
Hopefully, more professional sports teams will join our Eagles and play a hand in spreading the green message. It goes without saying that people (especially our children) look to athletes as role models. The message that professional athletes send about the importance of ecological responsibility is certain to resonate in the minds of many. Go Birds!
Read more about the Eagles Go Green initiative.