NBA Launches Its First ‘Green Week’

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The NBA kicked off its first “green week” last Thursday and will run through April 10. The event calls on both players and fans to get involved. Green week will sponsor a number of national and local activities to raise awareness and funding for environmental protection.

The initiative is a team effort. Players will wear shooting shirts made from 100 percent organic cotton as well as take part in community events, including planting tress and recycling drives.

NBA’s “Green Week” includes the opening of the Chicago Bulls’ “Green Extreme Makeover” classroom. Photo: NBA.com/green

On April 3, Chicago Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas hosted the opening of the Green Reading & Technology Center at Pope John Paul II Catholic School. The Bulls have been working on what they call a “Green Extreme Makeover” for months.

The team renovated and equipped classroom with 100 percent recyclable carpet, low-emitting paint, energy efficient light bulbs and computers, recycling bins and books made from recycled paper.

NBA.com is getting involved with the effort as well. The Web site will auction off autographed basketballs made from 40 percent recycled materials. All proceeds will go to benefit the Natural Resources Defense Council. NBA.com has also launched its partner Web site (nba.com/green), which offers green tips and details energy-saving modifications that are already in place.

Phoenix Suns guard and environmental enthusiast Steve Nash started a recycling program when he played in Dallas and is optimistic about the NBA’s initiatives to promote conserving, reusing and recycling. Nash tells The Associated Press that simple, everyday modifications, such as shorter showers, can make a huge difference.

“If you just make one change like that, before you know it you’ll open your eyes how we overuse energy,” Nash says. “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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