Boston – Hours before the Red Sox face the Evil Empire for the first time this season, environmental advocates asked the Sox to help fight another vile foe: pollution from dirty energy.
“We all know the Red Sox are the best team in baseball. Now, we’re asking them to be the best team for the environment, too,” said Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts. “By committing to achieve 100 percent renewable energy, the Sox can help clean up our air and protect our kids’ health.”
Leaders from Environment Massachusetts and MASSPIRG Students announced the launch of the “Sox Go Green” campaign, which asks the Red Sox to obtain 100 percent of the energy used for Fenway Park, team operations, and the team’s spring training facility in Florida from renewable resources like solar and wind.
Specifically, Environment Massachusetts and MASSPIRG Students are asking the Red Sox to obtain 100 percent of their electricity from solar and wind installations in New England within five years. The organization are also asking the Red Sox to commit to 100 percent renewable energy for heating and ground transportation within ten years.
“As a lifelong Sox fan, I know how important this team is in the eyes of everyone who lives in Massachusetts,” said Morganne McGuirk, a student at UMass Boston and the chapter chair for MASSPIRG Students. “If the Red Sox go 100 percent renewable, other businesses and institutions will undoubtedly follow their lead.”
Throughout the spring and summer, Environment Massachusetts and MASSPIRG Students will build public support for the Sox Go Green campaign through email and social media and by collecting signatures on an online petition. Volunteers and staff will also talk to fans outside Fenway before select home games.
By committing to 100 percent renewable energy, the Red Sox would join a growing list of communities, businesses, and institutions that have set similar goals.
So far, at least seven cities and towns in Massachusetts have committed to achieve 100 percent renewable energy. Boston University, Harvard University, and Partners HealthCare have also pledged to go 100 percent renewable. Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., is already powered entirely by renewable electricity from on-campus solar panels.
More than 120 major companies have also adopted 100 percent renewable energy targets, including Biogen, P&G, and Google.
Massachusetts could soon make a statewide commitment to 100 percent renewable energy. In February, a Senate committee approved legislation that would put Massachusetts on track to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035 and 100 percent renewable heating and transportation by 2050.
In 2015, the Boston area experienced 92 days with unhealthy levels of air pollution, which can lead to asthma, cardiovascular disease, and missed days of school and work. The burning of oil and gas for electricity, heating, and transportation is a major source of harmful air pollution.
“If I know anything about Boston, it’s that we don’t like to come in second to New York,” said Hellerstein. “The Red Sox should set their sights on winning the race to 100 percent renewable energy.”
Environment Massachusetts is the statewide, citizen-funded advocacy group working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.