CLEVELAND -- It is a day that hardly garners as much attention as other notable dates in November, but National Recycling Day is an event that the Indians take seriously.
On Tuesday, which marked National Recycling Day, a nationwide celebration of waste reduction and conservation that is headed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Cleveland took the opportunity to highlight some of its ongoing green initiatives.
"The Cleveland Indians are committed to exploring the opportunities to help preserve the environment through the use of advanced energy," Jim Folk, the Indians vice president of ballpark operations said in a release. "Using the latest sustainable technologies is not only good for the community, but good for baseball."
According to a release by the ballclub, the NRDC chose Cleveland and the Indians' home of Progressive Field as a Recycling Day host location as part of a series of nationwide events taking place in L.A., San Francisco, Austin, Houston and Washington, D.C. The Tribe's selection was fitting, given the environmental progress made in the past year.
In 2011, the Indians recycled waste at a rate of 23 percent, marking the highest percentage in the history of the organization's recycling program at the ballpark. The Indians reduced the trash generated at Progressive Field by 47 percent and reduced the number of waste pickups by more than 60 percent. Overall, the team recycled 173.93 tons of materials in 2011.
As part of the Indians Green Initiatives program, the organization has implemented a variety of other initiatives, too.
The organization used eco-friendly consumables, including Green Seal-certified, 100-percent recycled paper hand towels, toilet tissue and facial tissue. The club also uses Green Seal-certified cleaning products, compostable sugarcane based cutlery and hot serve cups in the front office, and biodegradable retail bags in all of the team's shops.
In an effort to improve its energy conservation as well, Progressive Field was the first American League stadium to use solar energy with the 2007 installation of 42 GE solar panels. The amount of renewable energy produced is enough to power more than 400 televisions throughout the ballpark.
In 2008, the Indians also installed non-ultraviolet, non-glass signs throughout Progressive Field, offering energy savings and low-voltage operation. Since then, the organization has avoided over 74,000 tons of CO2 emissions thanks to the installations.
For more information on the Indians Green Initiatives, visit indians.com/green.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.