Spring means Spring Training! At least it does if you love baseball, and much of America does. The sport has the greatest history in America and, while the gladiators of the NFL may have taken over the television ratings, baseball will probably always be America’s pastime. Even if you don’t watch or attend many games during the (long) regular season, many Americans get wrapped up in the return of baseball every spring. And even people who aren’t baseball fans find themselves attending a game or two per season. After all, the smell of popcorn and peanuts, the feel of warm summer air and the lure of hotdogs and beer can be a sweet summer temptress. But like most large scale sporting events, attending a baseball game can come with a major carbon footprint. Today, we’ve got five tips to help you keep it green when you attend a baseball game – be it this spring or next October!
Consider Public Transportation!
One thing that we love about many of the newer baseball stadiums is that they’ve been built in urban centers near public transportation options. We can’t do much to help you keep it eco-conscious if you’re traveling from a suburb to see the game, but if you’re already in the city consider leaving your car at home and taking public transportation to the game. Not only will you lessen the fossil fuels that you burn to get there, but you’ll be free to enjoy as many of those hot dogs and beers that we previously mentioned without worrying about getting home. Plus, you may be surprised how much your stress level is reduced when you don’t have to drive. And, of course, finally, you’ll save a nice wad of cash when you don’t have to pay outrageous game day parking rates. So, in short, while it helps the environment if you take public transport to the game, there are a ton of other benefits, too.
Pro Tip: If you can’t take public transportation or live too far away for it to make sense, consider carpooling to the game. The fewer cars the better!
Don’t Buy the Merchandise!
We’ve said before that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to own some fan apparel for your favorite team. But we’ve also said that where there is consumerism at play there are also faulty environmental practices. Baseball stadiums are full of consumerism – from “limited edition” shirts to kitsch to branded, well, everything. Not every trip to a stadium or game needs to include a purchase. However, the sports consumer media machine does a great job of making you think that you’re incomplete without a purchase every time you pass a fan store. And baseball stadiums have fan stores almost every fifty feet! If there’s something specific that you’ve been wanting to get, then it’s nice to do it while you’re actually at the stadium. But avoid the temptation to “just browse” in the fan store. It will likely result in a purchase (that you don’t need) of “stuff” that wasn’t particularly eco-friendly to begin with.
Find the Recycling Bin!
Most stadiums make it easy for you to throw away your concessions containers and even easier to simply leave them under your seat for the stadium staff to clean up. But try finding a recycling bin and you may find yourself walking quite a distance. It’s worth it though. Make the extra effort to locate a recycling bin and put your cans and paper products in it.
Pro Tip: If your baseball or other sports stadium doesn’t offer recycling bins, it’s time to start a local PR and petition campaign that will get them to add one.
Go to a Day Game
Of course, not everybody’s schedule offers the flexibility to go to a day game – and you may also want to see specific teams that don’t play during a day game. But if you have the option between attending a night game and a day game, opt for the daytime. Why? From an eco-perspective it’s pretty obvious. Day games don’t require the use of the massive lights above the field that are both a night game necessity and a huge source of energy and power suckage. We’re not suggesting you skip a game that you really want to see because it’s during the evening time. But if it’s six of one or half a dozen of another to you – consider choosing the daytime game.
Go Outside and Play Ball
Of course, the most eco-friendly (and healthy) choice that you can make is to skip the big venue game and go to a park and play some ball yourself. Get active, get outside and skip the consumerism and media frenzy of the big game. If this advice sounds crazy to you, just try it once. We think you’ll realize that living more instead of watching more is actually a great feeling!
Did we miss a way to be more eco-friendly at a baseball game that you want to share with us? If so, just tell us about it on one of the social media channels below.