This past April, the NBA announced its first NBA Green Week during the week of April 2-10th. In partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Green Week was spent generating awareness and funding through the sale of apparel, auctions, community service projects, and a public service announcement featuring former movie star and current NRDC Trustee Robert Redford. In addition, they also outfitted the players with 100% organic cotton adidas shirts featuring an NBA Green logo designed for the occasion over the course of the week. The Denver Nuggets, Charlotte Bobcats, and Chicago Bulls all wore green uniforms and socks made with 45% organic cotton during home games to raise environmental awareness.
The NBA, however, has not merely stepped up their game for one week. They have committed to a future where they are more environmentally responsible year round. According to the Huffington Post, “The league recently purchased green energy credits to offset power usage for the 2009 All-Star Game and plans to do even more for next year's all-star event.”
The players have not been idle either. During NBA Green Week, Tyrus Thomas of the Chicago Bulls hosted the opening of Green Reading & Technology Center at Pope John Paul II Catholic School. The renovated space was constructed wholly with energy efficient and recycled materials. In Dallas, Jerry Stackhouse and Brandon Bass helped celebrate the opening of the eighth Reading & Learning Center at Dallas Community Lighthouse’s Eban Village Kids Campus on Tuesday, April 7th. According to NBA.com, “This year’s project took steps to be ‘green’ by incorporating VOC-free paint, recycled tile flooring and environmentally friendly furniture.“ Meanwhile, out in California, the Golden State Warriors teamed up with Esurance for Green Week, holding a “Warriors Plant A Tree Day”. According to NBA.com’s story on the subject, “Warriors President Robert Rowell, players Kelenna Azubuike, C.J. Watson and Brandan Wright joined employees from the Warriors and Esurance, as well as volunteers from Urban Releaf, in planting trees at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and West MacArthur Boulevard in Oakland.”
In a world where energy is rapidly becoming a premium resource for the future, it’s nice to see that the NFL and NBA, as two of our most popular sports, are taking the lead in making sure that the rest of us have an example to follow. Hopefully this will inspire other sports leagues to enact permanent policies that take things to the next level.