The Asheville Tourists have targeted every facet of the baseball team's operations while incorporating its "Going Green" campaign at McCormick Field. Increased recycling efforts, special events and rewards for fans are part of the strategy that has the first-place team in the South Atlantic League standings striving for a similar status off the field.
"We've always tried to do the right things regarding our ecology and the environment, particularly with our concessions and our day-to-day consumption," said Mike Bauer, executive director of Palace Baseball and the Tourists. "What we're trying to accomplish with this concentrated effort is build awareness of what can and should be doing while also taking inventory of areas in which we can improve."
The Tourists are partnering with Curbside Management Service to recycle aluminum cans, plastic bottles and newsprint, an effort that will be aided with ushers collecting recyclable items during the fifth inning of games. The team is also working with Blue Ridge Biofuels to continue recycling the cooking oils used in the concession stands. Hand dryers in all restrooms at McCormick Field are being used to reduce the use of paper towels, while an ongoing Recycling Tip of the Day will run on the videoboard during each home game.
The team also has installed a new bike rack to ensure secured bicycle parking while encouraging more fans to ride their bikes to the ballpark. All fans that arrive at McCormick Field in this manner will receive a complimentary general admission ticket to that night's game.
Fans can also receive complimentary general admission tickets by taking part in any of the "Going Green" special events the Tourists have scheduled in the upcoming weeks. On Tuesday, June 24, when Asheville hosts the Hickory Crawdads, fans that donate used clothing in good condition to Goodwill Industries will get in free that night. Goodwill Industries will also be at the ballpark on Tuesday, July 22, and Tuesday, August 27, to accept clothing donations.
June 24th also marks the first of four evenings in which Telco Community Credit Union will be on hand to promote the use of hybrid cars, with one lucky fan receiving 0% finiancing on their next hybrid car purchase . Telco Community Credit Union will also hold the promotion with the Tourists on July 2, August 15 and August 30 at McCormick Field.
The Tourists and Western Alliance, a center for independent living, will provide four general admission tickets to every family that donates a complete computer in good working condition on Wednesday, June 25. The donated computers will be refurbished for adults with disabilities, thereby putting the machines back into good use.
On Friday, July 18, when Asheville plays the Delmarva Shorebirds, fans will receive a free general admission ticket for every used phone book they bring to the game. The Tourists are hosting a phone book recycling night with the AT&T Real Yellow Pages, an annual event that helps prevent unnecessary use of landfills while reducing the amount of trees needed to produce additional paper products.
"This isn't a one-time effort as far as our organization is concerned; this is only the beginning," Bauer said. "We're constantly looking for ways to improve our recycling efforts, and we welcome all suggestions on how to build on this initiative. The Tourists also invite all environmentally friendly organizations and businesses to join the campaign. Any time we can make this a win-win situation by doing the right thing as well as including and educating our fans, we're happy to do it."
For additional information, contact the Tourists front office at (828) 254-0428.