Pro sports: biodiesel takes them out to the ball game

By | September 18, 2009
Posted September 30, 2009

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Chris Dickerson sees a new movement afoot in professional sports. His team and others are leading the way towards more sustainable practices in parks and stadiums. A growing number of pro sports teams recognize that biodiesel is a team player in their sustainability efforts.

From using the fuel in their stadiums, to collecting concession grease for biodiesel producers, to educational campaigns about alternative energy, the green trend is growing.

"Where Great American Ball Park leads, I believe others will follow," Dickerson said.

Dickerson is one of the founders of We Play Green. The group works to unite athletes in encouraging environmental awareness and promoting alternative energy.

"With baseball winding down and football heating up, this is a great time to commend those teams and players who are leading the charge for biodiesel in sustainable venues," said Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board.

Cincinnati Reds Player Plays Green
The Reds' Great American Ball Park is among the greenest ballparks in the country.

Their efforts range from composting the grass clippings to using biodiesel blends for facility vehicles and standby emergency generators. Also, the park collects waste cooking oil from their kitchens and concession stands for biodiesel producers to use in making the fuel. In the last season, the Reds have sent 8,234 gallons of used cooking and motor oils to be refined for biodiesel. They use biodiesel blends in field and facility maintenance vehicles and equipment, tractors and stand-by emergency generators.

"In the global effort to be more environmentally friendly, the Cincinnati Reds believe that the use of biodiesel as an alternate fuel source is an important part of our overall greening strategy," said Declan Mullin, Vice President, Ballpark Operations.

Kansas City Chiefs Take Biodiesel to the End Zone
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel said using biodiesel makes sense on a number of different levels, especially at sports venues.

"Turning potential waste into fuel is just a smart thing to do," he said. "If we can begin conditioning players and fans at a young age to recycle, we've taken a big step. Using alternative fuels such as biodiesel is an even bigger leap. Through the efforts of and athletes across the country, we are making our voices heard and are encouraging all sports venues to Go Green!"

Indianapolis Colts Sack Foreign Oil
Indiana soybean and corn farmers teamed up with the Indianapolis Colts to educate consumers about the benefits of biofuels. With Colts' tight end Dallas Clark serving as the official spokesperson, Hoosier Horsepower connects with and educates students of all ages.

"Growing up in Iowa, I understand the importance of biofuels to our farmers and rural communities," said Clark. "I'm also excited that the Colts will donate $100 in the name of Indiana farmers to a scholarship program for every catch I make this season."

Biodiesel Takes to the Turf
Other professional sports teams and organizations involved with biodiesel include:

• Philadelphia Eagles
• Houston Astros
• Seattle Mariners
• Boston Red Sox
• Washington Nationals
• Philadelphia Phillies
• San Diego Padres

Biodiesel is a cleaner burning renewable fuel for diesel engines. It is made from abundant agricultural byproducts, such as soybean oil, other vegetable oils, fats and recycled cooking oil.

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