Category Archives: Sports

Environmental and Health Impacts of Artificial Turf: A Review

Hefa Cheng, Yuanan Hu, and Martin Reinhard (2014). “Environmental and Health Impacts of Artificial Turf: A Review.” Environmental Science & Technology 2014 48 (4), 2114-2129. DOI: 10.1021/es4044193.

With significant water savings and low maintenance requirements, artificial turf is increasingly promoted as a replacement for natural grass on athletic fields and lawns. However, there remains the question of whether it is an environmentally friendly alternative to natural grass. The major concerns stem from the infill material that is typically derived from scrap tires. Tire rubber crumb contains a range of organic contaminants and heavy metals that can volatilize into the air and/or leach into the percolating rainwater, thereby posing a potential risk to the environment and human health. A limited number of studies have shown that the concentrations of volatile and semivolatile organic compounds in the air above artificial turf fields were typically not higher than the local background, while the concentrations of heavy metals and organic contaminants in the field drainages were generally below the respective regulatory limits. Health risk assessment studies suggested that users of artificial turf fields, even professional athletes, were not exposed to elevated risks. Preliminary life cycle assessment suggested that the environmental impacts of artificial turf fields were lower than equivalent grass fields. Areas that need further research to better understand and mitigate the potential negative environmental impacts of artificial turf are identified.


Upcoming webinars of interest this week and next

Midwest and Great Plains Climate and Drought Update Webinar
Thursday, February 20, 2014 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CST
Register at

Greening Local Government: Energy Efficiency – Retrofits, Incentives and Renewables
Thu, Feb 20, 2014 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM CST
Register at

Part 2 of our webinar series designed for local governments, highlighting case studies from communities working towards resource efficiency, energy conservation and economic savings.  As funding for the Greening Local Government project came from an EPA Region 8 grant, our case studies come from states in this geographic region. However, this 2014 Greening Local Government webinar series is free and open to local governments across the nation. Visit our online guidebook:

Sponsoring Green Sports: Seattle Mariners’ Sustainable Saturdays
Wed, Feb 26, 2014 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST
Register at

While improved environmental performance and reduced operating expenses go hand-in-hand, new sponsorship opportunities that arise from a team or venue “going green” are often left untapped. Sponsorship can be a great way for teams to both finance greening initiatives and gain more public recognition in the process. On this webinar, we’ll take an up-close look at the Seattle Mariners’ “Sustainable Saturdays” program.

The Mariners partnered with BASF to create this unique season-spanning program to raise awareness around various environmental issues, as well as the team’s environmental profile. The panelists will walk through the development of the program and sponsorship, internal and external forces that helped to make it a success, how fans are taking the concepts presented on game days home, and the resulting impact of Sustainable Saturdays on the sponsor’s brand.

ACEEE – SEE Action Behavior Webinar Series
Thursday, February 27, 2014 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM CST
Register at

ACEEE Behavior Program staff developed a classification scheme, or taxonomy, that sorts Behavior-based energy efficiency programs run by utilities into discrete categories. Our aim was to focus and clarify terminology about behavior programs for both regulators and implementers. We offer a number of recommendations, including: stack, track, share, and coordinate. Questions we will be answering about this research includes:

  1. What is the takeaway for energy efficiency program administrators, policymakers and utility regulators from this research?
  2. How should energy efficiency program administrators, policymakers and utility regulators use the taxonomy in the field guide?
  3. Why should energy efficiency program administrators, policymakers and utility regulators support behavior programs in their state?
  4. What should energy efficiency program administrators, policymakers and utility regulators ask for in a behavior program?





Why this could be the greenest Super Bowl yet

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

U.S. sport teams and stadiums are competing over which is the greenest, with energy efficiency, renewable energy, recycling and composting becoming common in the professional sports world.

Once again, the National Football League says it will serve up the greenest Super Bowl ever at MetLife Stadium in Rutherford, N.J.

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Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Sports


Bros for Sustainability

Read the full story in the National Journal.

For decades, the environmental movement has been relying on scientists, skinny eco-geeks, and unicycle-riding freegans to disseminate their message. No more.

Environmental groups both on and off the Hill are working to change the face of the American football hero from a manly man who eats red, antibiotic-laden meat, drives a gas-guzzling Batmobile, and eschews composting to one who does none of those things.

Representatives from five of America’s major sports leagues hit the Hill on Thursday to discuss the work they’re doing to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions. The National Football League is measuring the greenhouse-gas effects of the Super Bowl this year, and last year it conducted solid-waste management and recycling at all major Super Bowl facilities. Major League Baseball stadiums have adopted solar panels. And the National Basketball Association has come out in support of Environmental Protection Agency standards to reduce carbon pollution from electric power plants.

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Posted by on December 6, 2013 in Sports


Sustainability and sports: a winning behaviour change combination?

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Sport events and team affiliations contain many of the preconditions for promoting mass behaviour change but is the sporting world doing enough to leverage this?
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Posted by on December 3, 2013 in Behavior change, Green business, Sports


Cleveland Browns Roll Out New Food Waste-to-Energy System

Read the full story in Triple Pundit.

The Cleveland Browns football franchise plans to showcase its food waste-to-energy system at a big home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 24. The new system, called Grind2Energy, is the first of its kind at any NFL stadium. It reclaims food scraps for conversion into renewable methane gas, rather than sending it to a landfill where it would decompose and add methane (a potent greenhouse gas) to the atmosphere.

For those of you who follow clean energy news regularly, Grind2Energy isn’t new as in “new rocket science” new. It’s basically a highly efficient system for hauling slurry from on-site garbage grinders to off-site biogas digesters.

What’s really striking about the demonstration is that a pro football franchise would go out of its way to showcase something as humble and off-topic (off-topic to sports, that is) as sustainable food waste management. So, what’s up with that?

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Posted by on November 22, 2013 in Food waste, Sports, Waste to energy


“The Next Play” National College Sustainability in Sports Initiative

Read the full post at NRDC Switchboard.

Today, Davidson College launched a national initiative, entitled The Next Play, which aims to use the wide-reaching influence of sports to inspire progress around sustainability. The Next Play initiative is comprised of two flagship events at the national scale: a sustainability in sports venture pitch tournament and a virtual discussion on sustainability and sports that Davidson College will facilitate in the five months leading up to the tournament.

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Posted by on November 21, 2013 in Colleges and universities, Sports


College Football Fans Recycle, Compost 1.5 Million Pounds of Material

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

During this collegiate football season, more than 85 schools across the US have recycled and composted cans and bottles, cardboard and food scraps, keeping about 1.5 million pounds of game-day waste out of landfills and preventing about 1,980 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released.

This is according to the College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC), Keep America Beautiful and RecycleMania, which, with support from the EPA, administered the 2013 Game Day Challenge.

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Posted by on November 21, 2013 in Colleges and universities, Recycling, Sports


Green Gridirons: University of Illinois

Each week, Great Lakes Echo highlights a Big Ten football stadium’s attempts to do the most to impact the environment the least. This week, they look at University of Illinois’ Memorial Stadium.

View the Green Gridirons series at

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Posted by on November 20, 2013 in Colleges and universities, Sports


Green Gridirons: Rutgers University

A football stadium may have green grass but does it have green habits? Each week, Great Lakes Echo highlights a Big Ten football stadium’s attempts to do the most to impact the environment the least. This week, they feature High Point Solutions Stadium at Rutgers University.

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Posted by on November 11, 2013 in Colleges and universities, Recycling, Sports


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