SF Bay Area
Food and drink that has us seeing gold
Marlins Park is one of the greenest MLB ballparks in the country. When the park was built in 2012, in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood about two miles west of downtown, it was LEED certified as the greenest ballpark in MLB—in fact, it was the only LEED gold-certified ballpark in the new construction category (it’s since been joined by a handful of other stadiums). The design idea was simple—to focus on conservation, sustainability, and energy efficiency. And so, more than 75 percent of the construction waste was recycled during construction, and pollution prevention plans were engaged, as well as water reduction and energy efficiency initiatives.
Levy Restaurants, which run some of the Marlins Park kitchens and concessions, are also major players in the ballpark’s environmentally-conscious standards and green-friendly efforts.
The ballpark partners with Rock and Wrap It Up, an anti-poverty, food recovery think tank, according to Jon Erik Alvarez, manager of communications, Miami Marlins, L.P. Through the initiative, the park donates excess stand food that is prepared, but not sold, to help feed the indigent.
The park also participates in Seafood Watch, a sustainable seafood program through approved vendors, says Alvarez. The organization provides seafood advisory lists, recommending seafood purchasing decisions to chefs and businesses. (Wonder if marlin is on the list…)
And the Miami Marlins give new meaning to farm team—a farm-to-fork approach to food is important to the team’s sustainability goals. Most of the fresh food that is prepared and served at the ballpark is grown and selected from local farms within a 100-mile radius, like organic citrus fruits and vegetables, natural beef, free-range chicken, and dairy products, too.
The Marlins also utilize compostable packaging for burgers, says Alvarez.
In addition to food efforts, native plant species are featured in the stadium’s landscaping, as well as other sustainable plant species with lower water demands, resulting in a 60 percent potable water use reduction.
The refrigeration systems also do not use CFC-based refrigerants, which are known to deplete the earth’s ozone layer. And the ballpark recycles plastics, metals, paper, cardboard and glass as part of a comprehensive recycling plan.
A healthy indoor environment was also created for fans and employees, thanks to low-emitting interior finish materials like paints, coatings, sealants, adhesives, carpeting, and composite wood components. In many areas of the stadium, including the clubhouses and dugouts, the flooring is created with a synthetic material made from recycled Nike shoes from Ecore Everlast Flooring. The company is all about upcycling or taking a material “at the end of its life” and, rather than tossing it, converting it into something else, and in the case of the Marlin’s ballpark, flooring.
Hoping to check all of this out for yourself? The ballpark gets props for its “community connectivity” and alternative transportation opps, with several bus lines feeding into the park and 319 bike racks for cyclists, too.
Header image courtesy of Miami Marlins PR.