The 2012 Major League Baseball (MLB) season is finally underway, and when the Boston Red Sox take the field at Fenway Park for the first time next week, the stadium will be even greener than it looks.
In 2008, the Red Sox partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to help make Fenway Park more environmentally friendly. The two organizations put a five-year plan in place that will be officially completed this season as the team celebrates the 100th anniversary of the park's opening.
"As stewards of such a storied venue, we recognize our unique position and ability to raise public consciousness about important issues. Our decision to enhance the ballpark's environmental attributes is one born out of a sense of personal responsibility and professional duty," Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner said in a statement. "For us, this announcement marks some of the first steps in an ongoing process to make America's most beloved and oldest ballpark also one of America's greenest."
The Red Sox made history quickly after partnering with NRDC and became the first MLB team to install solar thermal panels throughout its ballpark in 2008. The team's website states that the energy produced by the panels supplants 37 percent of the gas it previously needed to power the stadium. Additionally, it reduces the amount of carbon dioxide emissions Fenway Park releases by 18 tons annually.
Fenway's concessions provide fans with cups, napkins and containers that are made from recycled materials. There are more than 100 recycling bins throughout oldest ballpark in professional baseball, in addition to a number of Big Belly trash cans, which use solar-powered compactors to collect six times as much trash as regular bins.