Allen Hershkowitz, a longtime green revolution thought leader with the NRDC and sustainability writer, is now examining how to green sports in America. Hershkowitz lays down an alarming stat right out of the gate: 56% of Americans say they pay attention to sports, while only 18% pay attention to science. Of course, Hershkowitz sees an opportunity here: Using sports’ visibility to educate fans on issues such as energy usage, water usage and waste patterns. The attention to sports in the U.S. is staggering, and there is potential to send a truly green message. Conservation spreads the gamut in sports: Some major-league venues have installed solar panels, but an eco-friendly move can be as simple as switching team laundry detergents. Hershkowitz feels this message can trickle down to high schools, Little League baseball and beyond. “Recently, NRDC caused the formation of the Green Sports Alliance, a consortium of representatives from every league,” Hershkowitz explains. “This is the first time that an intra-league consortium has been formed to advance information about environmental better practices.” Matt Delnick is the CEO of Greenstar Recycling, a pure recycling company — no landfills, no mills and no haulers — that debuted in North America in 2007 after getting its start in the U.K. and Ireland. Greenstar’s footprint across North America is a large one, with both single-stream and dual-stream facilities across the U.S. When comparing the American recycling practices with European examples, Delnick feels that a very strong educational component is missing. While the U.S. struggles to recycle just one-third of its waste, Delnick says the number should be much closer to 85%. “We believe that from a sustainability standpoint, recycling should be at the core of the efforts,” Delnick says. “[Recycling] is often left out in conversations in North America, but it has an immediate impact on the environment that most people don’t understand.”
NRDC’s Allen Hershkowitz and Greenstar Recycling’s Matt Delnick
“Green is Good” welcomes the NRDC’s Allen Hershkowitz and Greenstar Recycling’s Matt Delnick to discuss their green initiatives.