We blogged last week about D.C.’s new baseball stadium, Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified ballfield in the country. Well, this weekend I had a chance to check out the park myself, heading over to the Navy Yard section of town for Saturday night’s exhibition game. And let me tell you, I was impressed. It’s not just the idea of being one of the first people to see the park, but the, ahem, intelligence with which it was designed.
From the way the concession stands are set up in the outer circle of the concourse, so you can still watch the game as you walk around, to the huge, huge High-def scoreboard (which was mesmerizing) you could tell that despite the 22-month turnaround, quite a bit of thought had gone into the building process. But even better are earth-friendly touches that abound. Recycling containers are everywhere. There’s not a lot of parking, so it pushes people to opt instead for mass transit, or even better, to use the free bike valet. Beer is poured in biodegradable cups made from corn, and when you’re done with a few rounds, you can head to the low-flush toilets. And though the lines for the locally-sourced food were long, having a Ben’s Chili Dog at a ballgame was certainly worth the wait.
Fortunately for fans everywhere, Major League Baseball is working to bring these green innovations to stadiums across the country. Teaming up with the Natural Resources Defense Council, several parks began implementing greener practices in the past few years. Fortune reports that the Seattle Mariners recycle paper, plastic containers, and food waste; the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox are installing solar panels to cut energy costs; and the Pittsburgh Pirates are using corn-cups, 100% recycled toilet paper, and are sending their scouts out in hybrid cars.
We’re glad that MLB is stepping up to the plate for sustainable practices, as it’s certainly something that we can root, root, root for.
Photo: Janelle Nanos
- Nat Geo Expeditions