NEW YORK -- The American League champion Yankees have had a winning season in more ways than one, as this is their first year playing in the highly eco-friendly new Yankee Stadium. The franchise -- in conjunction with the rest of Major League Baseball -- is working toward sustainability in its business practices, ballpark operations and more.
During the 2009 World Series, which kicks off on Wednesday night in New York, members of the MLB Green Teams will be out encouraging recycling to fans in attendance for Game 1's matchup between the Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies.
There will be in-stadium announcements and Ribbon Board messages encouraging fans to minimize waste, and groups of the Green Team will circulate with recycling bags to make the process as convenient as possible.
Although this is only the second time the Green Teams will be making the rounds at the World Series, eco-friendly practice is hardly a new concept to the Yankees.
From the moment the first brick was laid across the street from the House that Ruth Built, the Yankees have prioritized the environmental impact of their new stadium by enacting a sustainable facility program. The program ensures the efficiency of equipment while focusing on energy reduction. Instead of petroleum-based plastics, beverage cups are made of biodegradable material. Waste generation is tackled through composting and recycling cardboard, glass, metal and plastics and should divert approximately 40 percent of Yankee Stadium's trash away from landfills. This also results in fewer trash pickups and trash trucks on the road.
Yankee Stadium's close proximity to the subway, Metro-North, buses and other mass transportation systems have also reduced city traffic and CO2 emissions while conserving oil. The organization and the city encourage fans and employees to use mass transit whenever possible.
The organization is also vigilant about recycling cooking oil used throughout the stadium to help produce biodiesel fuel. To date, approximately 8,879 gallons of cooking oil from Yankee Stadium have been saved, resulting in 7,192 gallons of biodiesel fuel. This biodiesel will displace 129,455.8 pounds of carbon emissions, which is equivalent to removing nearly 12 cars from the road for a year.
One of the highlights of the new stadium, the majestic Great Hall, doesn't have air-conditioning and instead relies on natural cooling. The savings are about the same as 10,000 New York City apartments shutting off their air-conditioning for one day during the summer.
The Yankees have also made the switch to fully recyclable paper products in their restrooms and concession stands and switched to eco-friendly light fixtures that consume approximately 300 fewer watts than comparable stadium fixtures. These improvements mean that during one night game, nearly 207,000 pounds of CO2 emissions are saved, which is the equivalent of about one tree being planted for every pitch during the Yankees' home season.
Brittany Ghiroli is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.