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MLB unveils sustainability efforts on Earth Day

MLB.com

Major League Baseball celebrated Earth Day on Sunday by unveiling a bevy of sustainability initiatives that will be instituted by each team.

The initiatives include "Green Teams" and sustainable activations that will take place during All-Star Week in Washington, D.C. MLB plans to partner with George Washington University and Georgetown to activate the "Green Teams" among students to bring awareness to environmental efforts.

Major League Baseball celebrated Earth Day on Sunday by unveiling a bevy of sustainability initiatives that will be instituted by each team.

The initiatives include "Green Teams" and sustainable activations that will take place during All-Star Week in Washington, D.C. MLB plans to partner with George Washington University and Georgetown to activate the "Green Teams" among students to bring awareness to environmental efforts.

In addition, MLB plans to offset its environmental footprint of player travel, energy and water usage during All-Star Week. This will work in conjunction with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Change the Course program.

Later in the year, MLB plans to partner with Arizona State University on sustainability efforts. They also seek to embark on several projects, such as Upcycling with Refried Tees, volunteering at local variety Boys and Girls Clubs and donating excess supplies following the first "MLB FoodFest."

The sustainability efforts also extend to each club. Below is a look at how each club will celebrate and support Earth Day efforts:

• The Orioles kicked off Earth Day celebrations with a pregame ceremony that awarded Camden Yards with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. The honor is the result of a multi-year effort of research and enhancements to Camden Yards, which is the oldest ballpark to reach the distinction. AT&T Park, SunTrust Park, Marlins Park, Target Field and Nationals Park are also LEED certified. More >

• The Orioles also wore special Earth Day jerseys to benefit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The O's are one of many teams that will have added LED Field Lighting by the end of 2018. Other teams that will use LED lighting are the Indians, Braves, Astros, Royals, Angels, Twins, Yankees, Phillies, Pirates, Padres, Giants, Mariners, Rangers and Reds.

• The Reds became more energy efficient with LED lights that have a lifespan of 30 years. The club also placed 200 recycle bins around Great American Ball Park and have been heavily involved with donating to the local community. More >

• The Braves will also utilize LED lighting in their sustainability efforts. They are LEED certified and follow strict guidelines for environmental responsibility for reducing water, energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions. More >

• The Astros retrofitted their light fixtures near front-office spaces and updated their center-field lighting LED. The Phillies now have LED lamps and lighting in the field and clubhouse, and the Indians have 75 percent of office lights with LED. The Pirates also reduced energy demand by 2,000 kWD with their new backfield lights.

• Reducing waste is an area of concern for the Rangers. They participated in Earth Day activities and continue to recycle waste and reduce their environmental footprint. In 2017, the club recycled 358 tons of waste and implemented LED Field Lighting that results in 60 percent of energy savings. More >

• The Rays also participated in a similar fashion. They celebrated Earth Day by increasing the number of recycling bins at Tropicana Field. Several other teams joined in to reduce recycling waste, including the Mariners, Giants, Royals, Yankees, Twins, Phillies, Mets and Nationals.

• Some teams also celebrated Earth Day with new initiatives and planned community events. The Red Sox worked alongside partners to conduct a post-game waste sort, and the White Sox instituted a new policy of serving drinks without straws. More >

The Tigers worked with The Greening Detroit, a local non-profit, to help plant trees in the community, and the Dodgers worked with community partners to plant 60 new trees at Sycamore Grove Park. The Pirates will open a Suite Patio Rooftop Garden and used 100 percent of renewable energy sources from Direct Energy Certificates on Earth Day. The Mariners also worked to offer volunteer opportunities with nonprofits.

• The D-backs continued to make Earth Day an environmental year-round priority. On Sunday, the club helped to harvest the D-backs Green Urban Garden and worked to maintain several green spaces around Chase Field. In addition, the Dean of the Arizona State School of Sustainability, Chris Boone, threw out the first pitch. More >

• Lastly, nine teams utilized solar power in their ballparks. The Padres have the largest solar power system after implementing it earlier in the year. Many teams also reduced water consumption, with the Giants debuting a new underground sprinkler system. The system helps manage the microclimates of the field and helps to limit overwatering.

Each club will continue to make improvements as the season continues.

Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta. Follow him on Twitter at @jaylonthompson.