Major League Soccer began its fourth annual Earth Day week of service last Thursday with a series of volunteer activities in all the MLS cities continuing through Earth Day, April 22nd. Each of the 24 clubs will, during this week, be wearing special adidas x Parley eco-friendly kits (that is uniforms) during Earth Day weekend (April 19-21). The uniforms are made from technical yarns comprised of Parley Ocean Plastic™. As part of the global adidas x Parley initiative, plastic waste collected on beaches and in coastal communities is transformed into high-performance sportswear. The MLS hopes that through publicizing this collaboration, they will encourage their fans to decrease the use of single-use plastics. They also hope to raise awareness about ocean pollution and celebrate the importance of our oceans, they are reminding fans that purchase the jerseys that the oceans generate 50 to 85 percent of the air we breathe, and the message “For the Oceans” is sewn into the inside of the neck tape detailing, and the jerseys are in bold Blue Spirit and Legend Ink to represent the depth of the oceans.
The League is also committed to reducing its carbon footprint. For example, this year the MLS will be offsetting emissions associated with club travel for the entire MLS regular season including flights, ground transportation, and accommodation, totaling a reduction of approximately 14,500 tons of CO2e. The MLS is offsetting its emissions by partnering with the South Pole and Sport and Sustainability International to offset its CO2e by investing in high-quality carbon credits issued from the distribution of emissions-reducing, life-improving cookstoves throughout communities in Kenya. So far, the MLS’ contributions have resulted in the distribution of 4,407 improved cookstoves in rural communities in Kenya.
Why This Matters: Earlier this month we highlighted the efforts of several major league baseball teams to use solar power in their ballparks. And earlier this year, we reported that the National Hockey League similarly had partnered with Parley to outfit the teams at the NHL All-Star Game in Parley jerseys made of ocean plastic. More sports teams should make efforts to increase their sustainability at the ballpark, and through actions like carbon offsets for travel and donations to help improve sustainability around the globe. Soccer is one of the most popular and universal sports in the world — greening the “beautiful game” globally as a way to raise awareness could be a game changer.
H/T to Mike K for this one! Score!