In the Water Neutral Zone – How the NHL Is Conserving Water

NHL GreenWith about 800,000 gallons of water you could grow an acre of cotton, brew over 500 barrels of beer, or supply seven NHL playoff games. If that number seems a bit high for an ice hockey match, know that the NHL thinks so too, which is why NHL Green, the National Hockey League’s sustainability initiative, is collaborating with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) for the NHL Water Restoration Project.

As reported in the New York Times, BEF, based in Oregon, aims to conserve water in the Pacific Northwest, though it is looking to expand to Washington, California, Colorado, and New Mexico in the future. The organization encourages water conservation with “water certificates.” Each certificate is “divided into 1,000-gallon increments, assigned serial numbers and sold to companies and individuals. Each credit retails for one dollar. Bonneville then pays water-rights holders to conserve water.”

The NHL has gotten involved with the organization and its water certificates for its recently hosted 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, the first “water neutral” series in NHL history. The water conservation effort is useful as hosting a playoff game involves water output in the form of ice, concessions, fountains, faucets, toilets, and resurfacing the ice.

With this program the NHL will use their water certificate credits to restore nearly one million gallons to the Deschutes River, which is between Lake Billy Chinook and Bend, Oregon.

“It is a scenic gem with the potential to support world-class recreation and functioning aquatic ecosystems,” the NHL stated in a press release.  “However, water rights holders, individuals who in addition to property ownership possess a legal right to remove river water for ‘beneficial economic use’, divert most of the river’s water at Bend.  These disruptions of stream flow have degraded habitats, resulting in poor water quality and a decline in the overall health of the river.  The NHL Water Restoration Project will help return the Middle Deschutes to the vibrant watercourse it once was.”

The NHL is now the first major sports organization to participate in the BEF’s water certificate program and also the first to make such a large push towards water conservation. It notes that many of its players first got started playing on ice ponds, so it’s imperative that they set an environmental standard for the future and for the future of ice hockey.

Garnier Donates $100,000 to Clean Water Charities

Garnier, an acclaimed cosmetics company using natural ingredients in their hair and skincare products is committed to a greener and cleaner future. Garnier asked consumers to vote for the environmental cause they avidly cared about the most. The three causes voted on were Clean Water, Urban Greening, Recycling and Sustainability. The Clean Water category, received 52% of the votes and was the clear winner out of the three causes. The Recycling and Sustainability category received 36% of the votes, while Urban Greening received 12%.

In partnership with EarthShare, Garnier announced that they will donate $100,000 to three deserving charities: American Rivers, Oceana and the Surfrider Foundation. These charities work to protect public health, rivers and marine environments for the benefit of communities, wildlife and nature. Each group plans to put their winnings to work for cleaner and safer water.

Surfrider Foundation will direct the funds toward their water quality-focused programs: Ocean Friendly Gardens, Know Your H2O and Blue Water Task Force. The Ocean Friendly Gardens program educates and assists people in applying conservation, permeability and retention to their landscapes, to revive watersheds and oceans. The Know Your H2O project educates consumers about the link between freshwater management issues and the impact on our oceans. The Blue Water Task Force is a volunteer-run water testing, education and advocacy program for water quality.

Oceana will use Garnier’s donation to support its global ocean protection work. Protecting the pristine waters of southern Patagonia by preventing the expansion of Chile’s aquaculture industry, expanded oil exploration and drilling off the coasts of the U.S., Europe and Belize, are among the projects included.

American Rivers will apply Garnier’s support to protect and restore the nation’s rivers for comunities across America, through various conservation and volunteer programs, including Nation River Cleanup.

These winning Clean Water charities are very good causes. Michelle Ryan, Assistant Vice President of Sustainability at Garnier stated, “This program is just one small way we’re honoring causes within the community that we all care about.”

Ron Swanson Wants You to Grow a Beard (and Save Water)

Ron Swanson beardNBC’s Thursday night block of comedy is home to one of the most magnificent mustaches ever seen on television. That mustache, of course, belongs to the character of Ron Swanson, head of the Parks Department in Pawnee, Indiana, on the sitcom Parks and Recreation. Swanson, played in real life by actor Nick Offerman, is a burly stereotype of masculinity and creator of the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. When describing the perfect office atmosphere he states, “The less I know about other people’s affairs, the happier I am. I’m not interested in caring about people. I once worked with a guy for three years and never learned his name. Best friend I ever had. We still never talk sometimes.”

But epic mustachery aside, actor Nick Offerman has pledged to utilize his most prominent feature for the good of mankind: to encourage water preservation. Offerman is teaming up with Budweiser, the famed beer company, for its “Grow One. Save a Million” campaign, which began on May 17. On average men use between 3-10 gallons of water every time they shave. So, in preparation for World Environment Day (this Sunday, June 5), Offerman is encouraging all men to drop the razor and save water. Budweiser’s goal is to conserve at least a total of 1 million gallons (or roughly 5 gallons per person) of water by June 5 through this program.

In a press release Offerman stated: “The only thing manlier than growing a big, burly beard is ripping a big, burly beard off of a charging grizzly with your bare hands. That, and saving the planet. Since no grizzly has had the balls to charge me since I went through puberty, I’ve decided to focus on saving the planet by joining with Budweiser to promote the ‘Grow One. Save a Million’ campaign.

Men, if you want to look manly and feel good about conserving water, join me and take the pledge on Budweiser’s Facebook page. And grizzlies, charge me. Just do it. I’m waiting, you babies.”

Every strand of hair left on your face is one drop of water not wasted. So, this weekend start growing the beard you knew you were always capable of…for a good cause. And while you’re at it read about several water conservation breweries.