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Red Sox observe Earth Day with carbon neutral game

As a way to observe Earth Day presented by National Grid, and as part of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino's Greenovate Boston initiative to reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020, tonight's 6:35 p.m. Boston Red Sox game against the Oakland A's will be carbon neutral.

In order to achieve a zero carbon footprint of the game, the club will purchase renewable energy credits to offset all emissions generated from the game, including electric and gas consumption, waste disposal, and fan, employee, and player transportation.

The renewable energy credits will be purchased from New England-based sources including: the Falmouth Academy solar array in Falmouth, MA; Country Curtains solar array in Lee, MA; North Coast Seafood's solar array in South Boston, MA; and a collection of Maine hydro facilities.

Additionally, employees from the New England Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will volunteer with Fenway Park's Poland Spring Green Team during the game. The Poland Spring Green Team is a corps of up to 40 volunteers, typically college students, who collect recyclables throughout the seating bowl and educate fans on the importance of recycling.

The "greening" of Fenway Park has been ongoing since 2008 when the club created the Poland Spring Green Team and installed solar thermal panels at Fenway Park - the first professional sports team to do so. Even the field maintenance features irrigation timing and diagnostic controls to minimize water and fertilizer use. The grounds crew also uses biodiesel-powered lawn mowers.

"EPA applauds the Red Sox for making a long-term commitment to applying the lessons of Earth Day to their season-long operations at Fenway Park," said Curt Spalding, Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's New England office. "Tonight's effort is especially notable, as the Sox will actually play a carbon-neutral game. Nowadays, saying 'Go Sox' refers both to the team on the field, and to the forward-leaning organization behind the scenes."

The Red Sox and Greenovate Boston encourage fans to participate in the effort to green Fenway Park by taking public transportation or using Hubway, Boston's bike sharing system, and making use of blue recycling bins throughout the ballpark.

"This past week's events have shown us that Bostonians always stand together," said Brian Swett, the City of Boston's Chief of Environment and Energy. "Greenovate Boston is a community-driven movement, and we thank the Red Sox and the EPA for their work and leadership in making this movement stronger."

In 2012 the Red Sox were recognized with an Achievement Award from the EPA and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for their demonstrated commitment to improving sustainable food management practices. Last year, the club composted more than 100 tons of organic material, and recycled more than 275 tons of plastic, aluminum, and paper. This past offseason, hand dryers were installed in ballpark restrooms in an effort to conserve trees.

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