Sean Gettings
Sean Gettings, Portland-based community advocate and green-living blogger
As I enjoyed another Saturday evening on the tennis courts at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, OR, I got to thinking of a way to help encourage tennis players to recycle those plastic sleeves that hold three tennis balls. Everyone loves to open a new can of tennis balls — the smell of the rubber and the fresh new bounce. But what happens to all those plastic containers? Most of them end up in the nearest trashcan or are left to roll around on the court. Recently, I decided to try to make just a little difference and picked through the trashcan located on the eight courts at Mt. Hood Community College. What I found was nine plastic sleeves, several water bottles, 10 sports drink bottles, a few beer cans and  two glass bottles. All of this was heading for a landfill, but with a little bit of effort we all can make a difference. So, the next time you’re on the tennis court, stop for a moment and take a look in the trash. Grab your hand sanitizer and pull out those tennis ball sleeves. Pick all those sport drink bottles out, as well as anything else that can be easily recycled. Your effort will make a difference, and those watching you pick through the trash will think twice about throwing away all of that easy-to-recycle glass, plastic and aluminum. Maybe we can start a national movement to recycle tennis ball sleeves. Your thoughts are always welcomed. Sean Gettings is a stay-at-home dad with two kids, ages 5 and 3. He has worked on many environmental projects, including banning plastic shopping bags in Portland, anointing himself recycling coordinator at his neighborhood elementary school and authoring the “environmental guy” blog. Gettings is an avid cyclist, kayaker and supporter of anything that helps improve the community. Gettings lives in Portland with his wife and two kids. Check out his blog, This post originally appeared on Gettings’ blog on July 17, 2011.