Southern California environment news and trends

The White House hosts first sports sustainability conference

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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, 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.”


Super Bowl XLVI will be the first to serve organic concessions

Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, home to Super Bowl XLVI, 2012, featuring the New England Patriots versus the New York Giants.

The NFL is really serious about making Super Bowl XLVI the greenest one in history. In addition to the already robust “1st & Green” program happening all over Indianapolis right now, it has been announced that HOMEGROWN Concessions will be taking their organic chili to the big game, a Super Bowl first.

HOMEGROWN Concessions are a division of Farm Aid, the famous nonprofit organization dedicated to the American farmer. They’ve teamed up with Centerplate (the officially culinary hosts of the game) to offer HOMEGROWN’s chili among concessions sold at Super Bowl XLVI.

"Farm Aid knows family farmers. Our mission is to make sure you do, too," said singer and Indiana native John Mellencamp in a press release. "Farm Aid is introducing football fans to family farmers by serving HOMEGROWN Chili at the Super Bowl. It's good food from family farms, including some from right here in Indiana."


The NFL greens up Super Bowl XLVI

Charles Krupa/AP

In this Nov. 6, 2011 file photo, New York Giants' Eli Manning, right, is congratulated by New England Patriots' Tom Brady after the Giants' 24-20 win in an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass.

After two of the wildest finishes in NFL Championship history, the opponents in Super Bowl XLVI are finally set: Eli Manning and the New York Giants will square off against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in a marquee rematch of Super Bowl XLII.

While NBC breathes a sigh of relief that they’re not stuck trying to sell a 49ers/Ravens match-up, the media world prepares to descend on Indianapolis, where the NFL has the big game poised to be the most eco-friendly Super Bowl yet.

The game is being hosted at Lucas Oil Stadium, which like many NFL stadiums, strives to be as environmentally conscious as possible with extensive recycling and conservation efforts. But much of the sustainable action is happening outside of the stadium and around Indianapolis.

We’ve already mentioned the NFL’s “1st and Green” challenge to football fans in an effort to promote conservation. 1st and Green is also behind a host of more immediate green initiatives throughout the city, like a composting program with the Marriott hotel during the week of the game. All food waste will be transported to GreenCycle center, where it will be converted into compost (leftover stadium food is already earmarked for local food banks by the Second Helpings organization).


The NFL: all this and eco-conscious, too

Tebow gets 316 yards

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) celebrates after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-23 in overtime of an NFL wild card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Denver.

With the entire football nation still upside down and giddy like schoolgirls after Tim Tebow lead the Denver Broncos to victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers this past weekend in the NFL Wildcard playoff game, it’s easy to see why professional football is America’s most popular sport, and by a country mile.

Watching the magnificent spectacle unfold on TV, it’s hard to miss the significant environmental impact of a professional football game. Those glorious overhead blimp shots of the stadium also show the oceans of automobiles used to get all of those people to the game, for starters. It’s a palpable strain on any host city’s infrastructure; one that Los Angeles will feel firsthand with the planned Farmer’s Field in downtown, to be home to an NFL team to be named later. (To offset that impact, developers AEG are making a multitude of moves to make it the “greenest” stadium in the country).