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September 2016 WRED Event
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Greening the Game

September 19, 2016 |  Seattle, WA 

Photos coming soon! 

Thank you to Green Sports Alliance for partnering with us on the event! 

On a rainy Seattle morning, 40 attendees gathered at King Street Center for our Greening the Game WRED event. On Monday, September 19, 2016, WSRA and The Green Sports Alliance partnered to explore food’s lifecycle in some of Seattle’s biggest sports venues. Diving into all aspects of stadium food production and its environmental impacts, food waste prevention, sustainable packaging, and food waste composting.

Attendees started the day with refreshments and coffee while taking the chance to network and take in the Seattle skyline. As the rain started to clear, Justin Zeulner, executive director of the Green Sports Alliance welcomed attendees and our panel of speakers and introduced everyone to the history and work of the alliance. This created the platform and connecting thread through the rest of the day.

Domenic Calabro, with the US EPA gave us the 10,000-foot view  of the current status of food waste and food waste prevention in the US. Highlighting the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge Project in which CenturyLink and the Seattle Mariners are both participating. The programs’, Re-TRAC database allows for tracking of participant’s food recovery impacts on GHG emissions and other factors. You can find more information HERE

Next, the Seattle Mariners brought the teams’ perspective to the panel discussion. Ryan van Maarth, Director of Engineering for the Seattle Mariners ran the bases of the organization’s sustainability practices including highlighting their vegetable garden in partnership with Cedar Grove and BASF and the introduction of their sustainability superheroes “Captain Plastic” and “Kid Compost”. Ryan focused on the employee buy in and enthusiasm around the stadium and teams’ greening efforts. He also touched on the continued challenges of such a large venue with regular turnover in staff and difficult materials to work with.

All the way from Minnesota, Grant Braasch joined us to discuss NatureWorks’ role  in the big picture of stadium and venue sustainability. NatureWorks’ unique process creates products made of sustainable and compostable material, making them a perfect partner to create food service ware that stadium concessions can use to divert material from the landfill. Dawn Wheeler, with Delaware North and CenturyLink field then presented on the role of food service and concessions in the big picture, focusing on the partnerships that are necessary to procuring sustainable products regionally and locally.

Last but not least, Casey Funke with Cedar Grove “closed the loop” for the panel and discussed the important relationships with the Cedar Grove and the venues to utilize the resource of their food scraps to put them to work. Casey focused on the business case as well as the importance of these venues practices in creating a final product, Cedar Grove’s compost, potting soils, and other products. As mentioned before the partnership in creating a Garden at Safeco Field, utilizing the compost that has benefited from the practices of the venue itself.

After a delicious and locally sourced lunch from Patty Pan Cooperative, attendees headed out into the beautiful sunshine to head to their behind-the-scenes tours of both CenturyLink and Safeco Fields. Ryan van Maarth led the in in-depth tour of Safeco Field and was able to give attendees an up close and personal look at how the venue handles their waste and education practices on site. One attendee said that “Actually seeing the step by step system in place from shapes of containers, location, signage and how employees use them” was the most valuable piece. The Urban Garden located in the stadium itself was also a highlight of many attendees. Then the group was taken through CenturyLink field experiencing every aspect from the player’s perspective as they take the field as well as a hot dog’s perspective as it heads to their compost bins. One attendee exclaimed, “What a cool experience!”. I agree!

Finishing the event up at CenturyLink Field, we were hosted by both the venue and Green Sports Alliance for a truly wonderful networking event complete with appetizers and a private view of the field as the sun set. From there, a few of us headed to cheer on the M’s as they took on the Toronto Blue Jays that evening.

Greening the Game has never been so fascinating, informative and fun! Thank you to all that joined us for the event, Green Sports Alliance for their partnership and our event champions for all of their hard work!


Sustainable  Food Management at Sports Venues
Domenic Calabro, US EPA  Region 10

Seattle Mariners Sustainability Efforts 
Ryan van Maarth, Seattle Mariners

NatureWorks LLC 
Grant Braasch, NatureWorks LLC

CenturyLink Field Sustainability
Dawn Wheeler, Delaware North

Partnering With Sports Venues to Divert Food Scraps
Casey Funke, Cedar Grove





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