Southern California environment news and trends

The White House hosts first sports sustainability conference

Mercer 19847

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Last Thursday, the White House played host to the first-ever “Sports and Sustainability” conference to celebrate and discuss the ongoing progress in green and sustainable initiatives across the sports industry.

As reported by thinkprogress.org, representatives from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR and more gathered with government officials and environmental groups at the White House in “celebrating the sports industry’s successes in saving energy, reducing waste and adopting sustainable practices at sports facilities as part of the Better Buildings Challenge,” according to the Department of Energy. Created by President Obama, the Better Buildings Challenge is intended “to encourage major corporations, universities, and state and local governments to pledge and lead the way to saving energy, money, and showcasing the best energy saving strategies for buildings and their results.”

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Hard sell: NASCAR teams with EPA to spread green message

Pioneer Hi-Bred 250

Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR

NEWTON, IA - MAY 20: Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, races during the Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 at Iowa Speedway on May 20, 2012 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)

When thoughts turn to the high-octane excitement of NASCAR racing, there isn’t much space left for anything remotely eco-friendly. Given than the cars burn through 450,000 gallons of gas a year and get on average a mere five miles to the gallon, car racing is about as far from green as a sport can be.

Still, as reported by Triple Pundit, NASCAR and the Environmental Protection Agency are coming together in an attempt to spread a more environmentally friendly message to the masses of Americans who are dedicated fans of the sport.

The five-page “Memorandum of Understanding” between the unlikely partners spells out the myriad of ways they can “facilitate transfer of useful environmental information to a large fan base via the well-developed communications network managed by NASCAR.”

“Because NASCAR is followed by millions of passionate fans and many businesses, it can be a powerful platform to raise environmental awareness, drive the adoption of safer products by more Americans, and support the growing green economy,” said Jim Jones, EPA’s acting assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention in the Washington Examiner.

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