Here’s my new piece on the efforts of several professional sports teams to make their stadiums and arena more environmentally sustainable. It ran in this morning’s The Valley Advocate.
Ah, sports …
SPORTS GO GREEN
It takes the viewing experience of approximately one commercial break of a televised sporting event to observe 90% of what defines sports culture in America: bad beer, big trucks, and scantily clad women. With only so many 24-hour ESPN channels, regional Comcast Sports networks, websites, fan blogs, sports sections in newspapers (yes, still newspapers), radio talk shows and glossy-print magazines, it’s easy to surmise that there isn’t room in our daily discussion of athletics for anything else. Just don’t tell that to Alan Hershkowitz, Senior Scientist for the Natural Resource Defense Council.
“If you want to change the world,” admits the crusading environmentalist, “you don’t emphasize how different you are from everybody else. You go to where Americans are at.”
A little environmentalism with your sports spectatorship, anyone? Just remember to recycle your Miller Lite can after washing down your Viagra pill, please.
It may seem unbelievable, but Hershkowitz is intent on infusing America’s spectator sports culture with an environmental ethic. And as the Senior Advisor to the Green Sports Alliance, a coalition of professional sports franchises, stadiums and arenas in the Pacific Northwest, he is attempting to do just that. And the environmental efforts are being felt far beyond the snow-capped Cascade Range.
Read on …
A few weeks ago I was in New Orleans with family to celebrate our recently graduated Tulane alum. I had never been to the Crescent City before, and I’m still slightly obsessed with its history and culture, and of course, recent catastrophic events (not just Hurricane Katrina, but the BP oil spill, as well) under which this impressive community endures. So, when I heard about a store selling “FU BP” t-shirts, I had to check it out.
These shirts are being sold at Crawdaddy’s, near Jackson Square and the French Market, in the French Quarter. As the photo below shows, “Crawdaddy & Co. will donate $1 for each shirt sold that is related to oil spill to The Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund!!!!”
Why not contact them (Crawdaddy & Co.), order a couple dozen shirts, invite some friends over, blast a little Rebirth Brass Band, break open the liquor cabinet, and throw an FU BP party?
Or, visit Spill Baby Spill, and participate in a more sober, if not more effective, activist campaign on behalf of the gulf coast.
Nothing unites and divides Americans quite as effectively as the issue of taxes. We’re in agreement in not wanting to pay taxes. But completely divided as to who should have to pay.
Emerging non-profit upstart US Uncut has recently made waves picking a fight with one of the most egregious tax evaders out there: Bank of America. Why? Because, despite getting a handy dandy tax-payer-funded bank bailout, Bank of America has made a habit of not paying its taxes, and it looks like they are planning on doing the same for this April 15’s national un-holiday.
This Saturday (March 26), US Uncut is organizing a massive day of action. There are Bank of America franchises just about everywhere. So there’s a good chance there will be some good ol’ American protesting happening at a Bank of America branch near you.
Check it out, consider moving your money to another bank, and spread the word …
The other day, walking around downtown, I came upon these small flyers about something called “the 3/50 project.” At the top of the flyers it reads “Save your local economy… three stores at a time.” (Italics theirs.) (I always wanted to write that.) The project’s motto is “Saving the brick and mortars our nation is built on.”
Living in Western Massachusetts, where we’re constantly urged to “be a local hero,” I’m not unfamiliar with the adage of shopping locally, and the economic and ecological reasons for doing so. But this flyer indicated an effort, a group, that was organizing the effort.
Pick 3 independently-owned businesses in your area. Dedicate yourself to supporting their bottom line. Try to spend at least $50 each month in each store/restaurant/whatever. “If just half the employed U.S. population spent $50 dollars each month in independently owned businesses, their purchases would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.” Why do this? (Other than being nice and neighborly, of course.) “For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.”
Huh. Nice. Continue reading