Professional teams, players and stadiums’ trends toward biodiesel will reduce impact on the environment.

Cincinnati Reds outfielderChris Dickersonsees a new movement afoot in professional sports. His team and others are leading the way towards more sustainable practices in parks and stadiums. A growing number of pro sports teams recognize that biodiesel is a team player in their sustainability efforts, reports the www.biodiesel.orgNational Biodiesel Board.

From using the fuel in their stadiums, to collecting concession grease for biodiesel producers, to educational campaigns about alternative energy, the green trend is growing.

“Where Great American Ball Park lead, I believe others will follow,” Dickerson told NBB. He is one of the founders of We Play Green. The group works to unite athletes in encouraging environmental awareness and promoting alternative energy.

“With baseball winding down and football heating up, this is a great time to commend those teams and players who are leading the charge for biodiesel in sustainable venues,” saysJoe Jobe, NBB CEO.

Cincinnati Reds Player Plays Green

The Reds’ Great American Ball Park is among the greenest ballparks in the country. Its efforts range from composting the grass clippings to using biodiesel blends for facility vehicles and standby emergency generators. Also, the park collects waste cooking oil from kitchens and concession stands for biodiesel producers to use in making the fuel. In the last season, the Reds have sent 8,234 gallons of used cooking and motor oils to be refined for biodiesel.

“In the global effort to be more environmentally friendly, the Cincinnati Reds believe the use of biodiesel as an alternate fuel source is an important part of our overall greening strategy,”Declan Mullin, vp ballpark operations, told NBB.

Kansas City Chiefs Take Biodiesel To The End Zone

Kansas City Chiefs quarterbackMatt Casseltold NBB that using biodiesel makes sense on a number of different levels, especially at sports venues.

“Turning potential waste into fuel is just a smart thing to do,” he said. “If we can begin conditioning players and fans at a young age to recycle, we’ve taken a big step. Using alternative fuels such as biodiesel is an even bigger leap. Through the efforts of and athletes across the country, we are making our voices heard and are encouraging all sports venues to Go Green!”

Indianapolis Colts Sack Foreign Oil

Indiana soybean and corn farmers teamed up with the Indianapolis Colts to educate consumers about the benefits of biofuels. With Colts’ tight endDallas Clarkserving as the official spokesperson, Hoosier Horsepower connects with and educates students of all ages.

“Growing up in Iowa, I understand the importance of biofuels to our farmers and rural communities,” said Clark. “I’m also excited that the Colts will donate $100 in the name of Indiana farmers to a scholarship program for every catch I make this season.”

Biodiesel Takes To The Turf

Other professional sports teams and organizations involved with biodiesel:

  • Philadelphia Eagles – In 2008, the Philadelphia Eagles bought more than 300 gallons of biodiesel blends (B10 and B20) to power diesel equipment. That includes hot pressure washers, tractors, utility carts and mowers. The Eagles continue to replace high polluting fuels in 2009.

    “During the 2008-09 season we sent 6,925 gallons of used kitchen oil and more than 1,150 gallons of grease trap to local re-processors,” said Don Smolenski, Philadelphia Eagles CFO. “The process begins in our kitchens and ends with our on-site vehicles and other machinery. By recycling our own oil and grease, we have effectively closed the cycle.”

  • Houston Astros – The Astros use B20 biodiesel in diesel grounds crew equipment. This includes a tractor and a professional turf mower used to groom the Astros’ playing surface daily. They use approximately 75 gallons of B100 over the course of a year and this is the second year they have used biodiesel.

  • Seattle Mariners – The Mariners use B20 biodiesel to power motorized grounds-keeping equipment.

  • Boston Red Sox – The Sox use biodiesel fuel in all mowers.

  • Washington Nationals – The Nats use a mixture of B5 or B10 biodiesel to power a tractor and a couple of smaller machines.

  • Philadelphia Phillies - The Phillies work with a local company that collects frying oil from the concessions at Citizens Bank Park, which is then processed into biodiesel fuel.

    “The Phillies are pleased to work with a local company in an effort to reduce air pollution as we strive to create a cleaner environment,” said marketing initiatives coordinator Mary Ann Gettis.

  • San Diego Padres – In 2009, the Padres have recycled approximately 8.5 tons of cooking oil that can be converted into biodiesel fuel. Through the assistance of their food and beverage provider, Sportservice, they collect cooking oil at the conclusion of every event and removed off-site twice a month. Darling International Inc. processes the used cooking oil for application in safe, useful products including biodiesel, animal feed and lubricants.

  • ESPN’s 2009 ESPY Awards ceremony held in July was, for the first time, carbon neutral. The event reduced its environmental footprint through a number of innovative waste reduction and recovery strategies as well as recycling. They collected waste grease from venue caterers and concessionaires for biodiesel.

    Additional information about biodiesel is available online at

    Source: National Biodiesel Board

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