The Pittsburgh Pirates are set to celebrate Earth Day 2017 today, Saturday, April 22, with the enhancement of the organization's award-winning "Let's Go Bucs. Let's Go Green" program. The Club announced that it has partnered with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy on a season-long tree-planting program to benefit the greater Pittsburgh area.
Through the partnership with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, the Pirates will donate $250 for each home run hit at PNC Park by the team throughout the season.
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is a private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932 that has helped establish 10 state parks, conserved more than a quarter million acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams. The Conservancy also plants gardens in cities and towns throughout the region and beautifies Pittsburgh with hanging flower baskets, planters, thousands of trees.
In addition, the Pirates have taken significant steps to improve the energy efficiency of the ballpark and its operations with the installation of PNC Park's new LED sports lighting package. The Pirates have replaced the former field lights with 646 new LED lights on PNC Park's seven light towers. The installation of the lights will reduce energy consumption by more than 428,000 KWH, which is equivalent to the consumption of nearly 40 households each year.
"I am proud of the work we do throughout the year to make PNC Park and our community more environmentally friendly and sustainable," said Bob Nutting, Pirates Chairman of the Board. "We are proud of the enhanced partnership with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and to support the important and impressive work that the organization does throughout the year. We in the Pittsburgh region are fortunate to be surrounded by such natural beauty and their mission is critical in helping to preserve it for future generations."
Since the launch of the Pirates "Let's Go Bucs. Let's Go Green." Program in 2008, the Pirates have recycled approximately 7 million pounds of material from PNC Park by successfully diverting out of the waste stream. This collection of organic material helps in slowing down the production of methane, a greenhouse gas that is generated when food and organic material decompose in the landfill.
Overall, the Pirates successfully divert more than 57 percent of PNC Park waste materials out of the landfill, the fifth highest rate in Major League Baseball. In 2016 alone, the team recycled of approximately 79 tons of glass, 36 tons of aluminum, 114 tons of plastic, 20 tons of paper, 132 tons of cardboard, 12 tons of used cooking oil, 85 tons of yard waste and 147 tons of other recyclable materials.