April 3rd through 10th the National Basketball Association (NBA) is celebrating Green Week. The NBA has partnered with Sprint and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to bring awareness to living environmentally friendly during this week and will “highlight league, team and player environmental initiatives including in-arena awareness nights, recycling programs, hands-on service projects and educational curriculum.”
Six NBA teams are currently housed in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified arenas (Philips Arena (Atlanta), AmericanAirlines Arena (Miami), Moda Center (Portland), Toyota Center (Houston), Barclays Center (Brooklyn) and Amway Center (Orlando)), with an additional 5 teams having solar panels installed in their arena, garages, or practice facilities (Denver, Phoenix, STAPLES Center (LA), AT&T Center (San Antonio), Golden State).
Here are some tips on living ‘green’ (many of which you may already know and do) from the NBA and NRDC:
- Use Durable Goods – Bring your own cloth bags to local stores, use reusable food containers instead of paper towels, and replace plastic and paper cups with ceramic mugs, disposable razors with reusable ones.
- Drink Tap Water – Most cities in the United States have clean, drinkable water, so use tap water (you can filter it if you’d like) and refillable water bottles instead of buying bottled water.
- Choose Energy-efficient Products – When buying new appliances or electronics, shop for the highest energy-efficiency rating with the Energy Star label, which identifies products that use 20-40% less energy than standard new products. According to the EPA, the typical American household can save about $400 per year in energy bills with products that carry the Energy Star.
- Top Up Your Tires – To maximize your vehicle’s fuel economy, make certain that your tires are always inflated to the recommended pressure.
- Buy Organic and Other Sustainable Certifications – Eco-labels like USDA Organic and others give us a way to reward environmental performance in the marketplace.
- Stick to 60 or Less – The faster you push your vehicle, the more aerodynamic drag reduces engine efficiency. For every 5 miles an hour over 60, you reduce your gas mileage by 5 to 10 percent, according to the EPA.
- Choose Climate-Friendly Food – Food that comes from high on the food chain or arrives to your plate after extensive processing tends to require more energy. Eat lower on the food chain by adding more fruits, vegetables, and grains to your diet and limiting your intake of red meat.
- Minimize Your Driving – Plan ahead before cruising around town to do errands. Group your chores into a single trip and calculate an efficient route.
- Watch Your Waste – Purchase foods that you can consume before they expire to help minimize food waste and shrink your grocery bill. Compost your food waste, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the need for synthetic fertilizer.
- Eat Locally – Choose local food options whenever possible and avoid purchasing food imported by airplane. But keep in mind that the type of food and how it was produced may be of greater environmental significance.
- Reuse by Donating – Donate old clothing, furniture and other useful but unwanted household items to homeless shelters, thrift stores, animal shelters and other community organizations.
It is great to see an organization with such a large reach bring awareness to minimizing our impact on the environment and living a ‘greener’ lifestyle.
What are you doing to live a ‘greener,’ low environmental impact lifestyle?