Aug 062010

August 6 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Paul Hagen

“DURING THE middle innings of every Phillies telecast, there’s a promotional item duly noting how environmentally friendly your local ballclub is. For example, from the team’s official website, is a boast that the Phils use only certified printers that utilize soy-based ink and that one even operates on 50 percent wind energy.

The front office has been uncharacteristically modest, however, about a more recent initiative. While we normally avoid writing about what goes on in the press box, on the grounds that nobody really gives a damn, we are happy to report that the team has significantly cut back on the amount of game notes and stats packages that are distributed before each home game. That not only reduces waste but saves a few bucks on paper.

So, please, give them a hand.

It also got the staff here at Philliedelphia thinking about even more ways the team could reduce its carbon footprint. From the suggestion box:

Fly commercial instead of using charters. The Phillies figure to log more than 27,000 air miles this season. If those flights average 500 mph, that’s 54 hours in the air. Large planes use 10,000 to 20,000 pounds of fuel per hour. Splitting the difference, that’s 810,000 pounds of fuel, which computes to more than 120,000 gallons.

There’s a helpful tip on the website’s Red Goes Green section which notes that leaving your car at home just twice a week can cut greenhouse gas emissions more than 1,500 pounds per year.

Wow. Can you imagine how much could be saved if the Phillies just used planes that are already going to be in the air anyway? And, since they’d be buying so many seats, they could probably even cut a deal to have those annoying $25 baggage fees waived. Or else fly Southwest.

Trade in those SUVs and Hummers. Frankly, the players’ parking lot is packed with gas-guzzlers. That big-leaguers can easily afford even the high-octane grades is beside the point. The front office probably can’t make driving a hybrid part of the standard contract because the players association would surely object. But maybe they could offer bonuses to players who switch to more fuel-efficient vehicles. Or give them the exit door and bulkhead seats on the commercial flights.

Of course, it would mean that reliever Jose “Big Truck” Contreras would have to come up with a new nickname. But everybody has to share in the sacrifice.

Adjust the AC. When the heat outside goes up, the habit is to lower the temperature in the clubhouse. That creates a nice oasis for the players after batting practice and even between innings, but is obviously terribly inefficient in terms of saving energy. Turn it up to 74 and leave it there. Make it 78 on the visitor’s side and you’ve created an instant competitive edge.”

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