It seems that the United States Tennis Association (USTA) had never recycled their tennis ball tubes because the combination of plastic and metal made the process nearly impossible. This year, the USTA has found a recycling company willing to do the deed and have committed to recycling all of their tubes, along with taking on several other green initiatives under the guidance of NRDC and Environmental Resources Management. Long time advocate for greener tennis, Billie Jean King, was joined by tennis buff Alec Baldwin to announce the green updates to this year’s US Open.
The USTA has placed recycling bins next to every trash can at the Open, along with reducing their energy use and increasing their use of organic, green food. They are presenting two environment-themed Open T-shirts, one a girly “Green Your Game” style designed by Venus Williams, the other a grey shirt that says “Save Our Planet–It’s the Only One with Tennis.” They will also be piloting a compost program in their kitchens this year.
“The USTA remains committed to ensuring that the world’s highest annually attended event has as little environmental impact as possible without sacrificing the unique attributes that make the US Open the premier tennis event in the world,” said Lucy Garvin, President and Chairman of the Board, USTA. “These expanded initiatives will help keep the USTA, the US Open and tennis fans worldwide at the forefront of the global effort to preserve the environment.”
You can find more info on the Open’s developments here. While discussing green issues, Baldwin also told the New York Observer that plastic individual drinking bottles are verboten on the 30 Rock set. Apparently they each have their own reusable containers and “drink out of a cooler.” I’d love to be a fly on the wall around that water cooler.