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In the World + Sports

Tonight, “Go Green” with the Sox

See a game for free by helping Fenway recycle

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Fenway Park April 2008 239.jpg

BU members of the Boston Red Sox Green Team. Photo by Daryl DeLuca

The Celtics aren’t Boston’s only “green” team this summer — the Red Sox and Boston University are getting in on the action with a new recycling program designed to make Fenway Park more environmentally friendly. Tonight, the ballpark is giving between 30 and 50 Boston University students the chance to help promote the program, sponsored by Poland Spring: the students will be part of the Boston Red Sox Green Team, arriving at the park two and a half hours before the game to promote the program and then walking through the aisles during the game to collect recyclable containers from fans.

The program began last September as part of a five-year collaboration between the Red Sox and the environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council. In addition to the Green Team, the plan includes the park’s adoption of solar power, as well as several new environmental practices to take care of the field.

Red Sox Green Team volunteers receive free T-shirts and hats to wear during the game and coupons for meals at the concession stands, and after they finish their work in the eighth inning, they can enjoy the game. BU volunteer Adam Soliman (SAR’09) says his only task was to walk up and down the aisles to pick up, or ask for, plastics to collect for recycling.

“It wasn’t very difficult,” he says. “Many appreciated the idea of recycling, or going green.”

Soliman says he was able to watch most of the game, since the security guards wanted the volunteers to walk through the aisles only between innings. He says it was a great experience working with other BU students and he will be volunteering again soon.

Although the program is geared towards students, faculty and staff are also welcome to sign up as volunteers. Michele Naughton, a staff coordinator for the Educational Resource Center, was a volunteer with the Green Team back in May and plans on going again tonight.

“It was a really good experience,” says Naughton, who volunteered at the game where Sox players Mike Lowell and J. D. Drew both hit grand slams. “I got a lot of positive feedback from the fans. The best part was that you got to see the game from a variety of areas, from back in the standing-room-only section all the way up to season ticket holder seats right next to the field. I got to see the game up close for a little, and the fans were really supportive.”

Volunteers through the BU program also get a chance to meet other students who share their interests in both baseball and environmental awareness. Danielle Poulin (CAS’09), who has volunteered three times and has served as team leader twice, says she was able to share her enthusiasm for recycling with BU students who she would not have metotherwise.

“The Green Team gets students from all parts of the country and the world — I like to ask the volunteers where they are from, and I’ve received responses like Long Island, New York, Texas, California, Massachusetts, Ohio, and even Malaysia,” Poulin says. "It’s great to see all of these students coming together for recycling and a good time at Fenway.”

The program is being coordinated through Boston University’s Office of the Dean of Students. To sign up to volunteer for the Green Team for tonight’s game, e-mail dos@bu.edu by noon and include your phone number.

Davide Nardi can be reached at dnardi@bu.edu.

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