The National Basketball Association announced that it is partnering with the Natural Resources Defense Council in launching the inaugural NBA Green Week. What’s involved in green pro-ball? Here’s what the NBA says:
As part of NBA Green Week 2009, adidas will outfit all players with 100 percent organic cotton adidas shooting shirts featuring the NBA Green logo. The Denver Nuggets, Charlotte Bobcats, and the Chicago Bulls will wear green-colored uniforms and socks made from 45 percent organic cotton during select home games throughout the week to raise additional environmental awareness. NBA.com will also host an online auction of Spalding basketballs, made from 40 percent recycled materials and autographed by NBA players.
Organic cotton, of course, costs more to produce since it requires more weeding and fertilizer — and, hence, involves more greenhouse gas emissions. Organic crops, generally, tend to require more land, water and other inputs to produce as much as conventional techniques, tending to make organic crops relatively worse for the environment than conventional crops.
But if the NBA really wants to be green, it should put itself out of business.
According to the Carbon Neutral Company, an NBA game produces about 449 tons of carbon dioxide due to fan and team travel, and energy use at arenas. Given that there are 1230 games in an NBA season, that means that the NBA emits about 552,270 tons of CO2 in regular season games alone. Pre-season and post-season play add to this size 23EEE carbon footprint.
The NBA’s carbon footprint amounts to putting about 46,022 SUVs on the road each year. A 500-megawatt coal-fired power plant produces about 3 million tons of CO2 emissions per year. So the NBA is like operating a coal-fired power plant for about 2.5 months per year — most un-green of it.
The NBA could have avoided such embarrassment had it read Steve Milloy’s new book, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them.