NBA to kick off its first "green week" Thursday

April 1, 2009 1:35:51 PM PDT
From driving a hybrid car to installing solar panels on his home, Steve Nash always strives to be energy conscious. The Phoenix guard hopes his friends around the NBA community can learn some ways to do their part in the coming days.

The NBA announced plans Wednesday for its first "green week," a number of activities to raise awareness and funding for environmental protection. Green week officially begins Thursday and runs through April 10.

Nash, who started a recycling program when he played in Dallas, hopes the initiative helps others throughout the league to "just learn more and spread the word and the message, and get people more active in conserving and reusing and recycling."

"I think it's great that we're taking the first steps to changing the culture and to moving in the right direction," he said.

Teams will be outfitted with shooting shirts made of 100 percent organic cotton and take part in community events such as tree plantings and recycling drives. Autographed Spalding basketballs, made from 40 percent recycled materials, will be auctioned on NBA.com, with proceeds benefiting the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The league will launch a Web site (nba.com/green) that will offer greening tips, including some its own teams are already using to modify their arenas to minimize energy consumption.

Nash sees plenty of waste during the season, from too much paper products in the arenas to too many hotel rooms that inevitably have all the lights on when he checks in. He said something as simple as not letting the water run too long in the shower can make a difference.

"If you just make one change like that, before you know it you'll open your eyes how we overuse energy," Nash said. "I think that will be a great goal for people to come in contact with NBA green week, to come away from it with one new lesson and one new goal, one new change of habit so they can begin to lessen their impact on the environment as well."

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