Red Sox observe Earth Day with carbon neutral game, special pregame ceremony, more

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh to throw ceremonial first pitch before today's game

Before the team travels to Houston for a three game series against the Astros, the Red Sox will observe Earth Day at Fenway Park by making today's 1:35 p.m. Red Sox-Rays game carbon neutral, and with a special pregame ceremony featuring Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the many leaders and partners who are part of the city's effort to reduce Boston's greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020.

In order to achieve a zero carbon footprint for the game, the club will purchase renewable energy credits to offset all emissions generated from the game, including electric and gas consumption, waste disposal, and fan, employee, and player transportation.

The renewable energy credits will be purchased from solar installations at North Coast Seafood, Westford Stony Brook School, and Wellfleet Firehouse.

Before the game, the club will recognize Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton, and Boston's Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space, Austin Blackmon, as well as students from Adams Elementary School in East Boston who won this year's Boston Public Schools Energy Conservation Challenge. Mayor Walsh will throw the ceremonial first pitch using a special planet earth baseball.

Additional Earth Day elements for today's game include players wearing an Earth Day-themed patch on their uniforms and the Earth Day logo sculpted into the back on the pitcher's mound clay. The club will also debut a Red Sox Hubway bicycle that will go into circulation on Earth Day.

On Friday, April 22 (Earth Day), the Red Sox will host the Greenovate Boston awards ceremony at Fenway Park when Mayor Walsh and Chief Blackmon will present this year's Greenovate Boston awards to contestants with the best ideas for environmental protection. Following the awards ceremony, volunteers will join the City's "Boston Shines" program and engage in local neighborhood cleanup activities in the Fenway and other neighborhoods.

Outside of Fenway Park, the Red Sox Foundation will partner with National Grid for a day of service at English High School in Jamaica Plain from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers will paint murals and spruce up the school before students return from spring break. This will be the first of six projects that the foundation will complete with National Grid this year.

Those who are unable to participate in Boston's Earth Day cleanup efforts will have an opportunity to volunteer later this month on April 30, when Secretary Beaton will lead the Massachusetts State Parks Department of Conservation and Recreation's statewide volunteer service day to get forests, parks, and beaches ready for summer. Information for volunteers can be found at mass.gov/dcr.

The "greening" of Fenway Park has been ongoing since 2008 when the club created the Poland Spring Green Team and installed solar thermal panels at Fenway Park - the first professional sports team to do so. Even the field maintenance features irrigation timing and diagnostic controls to minimize water and fertilizer use. The grounds crew also uses biodiesel-powered lawn mowers.

In 2015, the Red Sox created an organic rooftop garden behind the Gate A Fenway Park façade that provides rooftop to table vegetables and herbs throughout the baseball season. Produce and herbs grown in "Fenway Farms," presented by Stop & Shop, Dole, Sage Fruit, and Fenway Park concessionaire Aramark, are used in food products prepared at ballpark concession stands and club restaurants. Over 4,000 pounds of food were harvested last season with almost no emissions.

Over the past five years, and with the help of the Poland Spring Green Team and Aramark, the Red Sox have recycled more than 1,300 tons and composted 600 tons of waste.

In 2012 the Red Sox were recognized with an Achievement Award from the EPA and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for demonstrated commitment to improving sustainable food management practices. This year, the Red Sox were named "Recycler of the Year" by MassRecycle, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing recycling and waste reduction in Massachusetts.

The Red Sox and Greenovate Boston encourage fans to participate in the effort to green Fenway Park by taking public transportation or using Hubway bicycles, Boston's bike sharing program, and making use of blue recycling bins throughout the ballpark.