Major League Soccer is committed to taking steps to address its environmental impacts and raise awareness of sustainability initiatives within local communities. MLS will continue to explore opportunities to reduce waste and non-renewable energy use, as well as measure and help to offset a portion of greenhouse gas emissions associated with League and Club travel including airfare, accommodations and ground transportation for the regular MLS season, playoffs, and MLS Cup.
The 6th Annual Greener Goals Week of Service will take place April 17 – 23. League-wide efforts will be conducted on and off the field to highlight Major League Soccer’s commitment to environmental sustainability, including efforts around waste reduction.
All 29 MLS clubs and League office staff will volunteer their time to conduct environmentally friendly projects in partnership with local charitable organizations. Follow @MLSWORKS on social platforms or click here to see what clubs are doing as part of Week of Service to positively impact their local communities.
As part of Greener Goals Week of Service, MLS and its clubs will join forces with adidas to promote ocean plastic waste recovery. In partnership with nonprofit Parley for the Oceans, MLS and adidas are developing an immersive educational experience dedicated to the understanding of marine environments and the co-creation of plastic waste solutions called the Parley Ocean School. Coming soon, adidas and MLS are offering fans the opportunity to attend the MLS/adidas Ocean School in Miami, Florida with a friend.
To underscore the League’s commitment to raising awareness about ocean plastic waste and eliminating CO2-emitting plastics production, MLS players will be sporting adidas One Planet jerseys during Earth Day weekend. The jerseys are made with Parley recycled ocean plastic and will be available at MLSstore.com and select club retail locations starting April 18th at 11 a.m. ET.
LAFC teams up with LA Works and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy (PVPLC) to host a day of service
Throughout the season, MLS clubs are also partnering with local food organizations to distribute unused food following matches at their stadiums. Intending to reduce food waste and help address food insecurity in their region, MLS venues will collectively divert more than 55 tons of food to local food donation programs, avoiding approximately 208 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to approximately 330 cross continent air flights from San Jose to Montreal.
Below is a sampling of the ways clubs are reducing stadium waste.
- Austin FC: In partnership with Texas Disposal Systems, Austin FC is helping fans divert waste with more than 70 strategically placed Ecostations located throughout the stadium. These Ecostations allow Q2 Stadium to collect materials both for composting and recycling.
- Orlando City: The club installed an onsite recycling system at Exploria Stadium and diverted 5.08 tons of cardboard, .60 tons of aluminum, 1.67 tons of plastic, and 1.37 tons of food waste since January.
- Philadelphia Union: Subaru Park has achieved the nationally recognized zero landfill status, meaning that over 90% of waste generated at the stadium will either be reduced, reused or recycled. As of March 31, 2023, Subaru Park will have diverted approximately 920,356 pounds of waste from local landfills.
- St. Louis CITY SC: The club opened its inaugural season as a zero-waste stadium. All waste generated will either be reduced, reused, recycled, or composted. The club is also eliminating single-use consumer plastics, on-site recycling and composting collection, comprehensive energy efficiency and water conservation initiatives, and partnering with food donation programs.
The greening of our game will encourage MLS clubs, players, partners, and fans to give back to our communities and raise awareness for environmental responsibility. For more information on MLS club efforts around Earth Day, follow @MLSWORKS on social platforms.
- Help your community plant a tree where it is most needed. Trees provide shade and take carbon out of the air. Kids love to take part in the process and watch trees grow. Make sure the tree is native to your local environment and when you choose the location to plant it, anticipate its long-term growth.
- Visit your local forest. Get out into nature. It’s healthy for your mind and body, and direct experience helps people understand their deeper connection with the natural world. Plus, showing your appreciation for it will help ensure it’s well taken care of. Get your Vitamin N!
- Walk, bike, or take public transit to the stadium. You’ll cut your carbon footprint, get some exercise and park for free—you might even beat the traffic! Many stadiums offer secure bike parking, which is usually a lot more convenient than the car park!
- Go renewable! It’s easy to learn what types of energy power your home, and to ramp up your use of renewables. You don’t even need to put solar panels on your roof—most utilities offer a renewable option that ensures your energy will come from solar, wind, or other renewable sources, and it doesn’t necessarily cost more! Visit your local utility’s website and make the switch.
- Support local businesses whenever possible. By buying local, you help create jobs for your friends and neighbors, contribute to improved public infrastructure, help reduce transportation impacts, and invest in your community both socially and economically.
- Turn off the lights and other electrical appliances such as televisions & radios when you're not using them.
- Use power strips to switch off televisions, home theater equipment, and stereos when you're not using them. Using an advanced power strip can save up to $100 per year by reducing electricity waste when devices are idle. (energy.gov)
- Switch to energy efficient light bulbs, particularly LEDs (energystar.gov). LED lights use 90% less energy and last 25 times longer than an incandescent light bulb, and can save you up to $100 in energy costs during its lifetime.
- Save energy and reduce carbon emissions by adjusting temperatures 5 - 8 degrees (down in winter, up in summer). Setting a schedule on your thermostat is a great way to automatically adjust temperatures when you will be away from home for several hours. (energystar.gov)
- Clean your clothes efficiently! Switching from hot to warm water can reduce energy use by half, and switching to cold water washing can reduce energy use even more. Wash your clothes on shorter cycles, wash only full loads, and opt to hang dry clothes when possible.
- Reduce waste by placing collection bins in various places around your home to make recycling more convenient. Use different bins that follow your city's recycling policies so you don't have to sort later.
- Donate your old clothes instead of throwing them away! In Europe alone, 3.1 million tons of textile waste is sent to landfills or incinerators each year (Playing For Our Planet). Purchase higher quality clothes that last longer, and shop from stores that offer warranties and take-back programs. Even worn-out clothes can be useful as scrap fiber for a variety of purposes.
- Use recycled-content paper to save trees and water! Using 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) paper is the best way to "close the loop" as well, as “waste” becomes new outputs rather than trash. Choose FSC-certified paper and wood products whenever possible to reduce impacts on forests. (usi.edu)
- Eat more plants! Integrating more plant-based meals into your diet is one of the most effective ways to lower your personal carbon footprint. (greensportsalliance.org)
- Store your food in reusable containers rather than wrapping it in single-use plastic or foil.
- Use refillable water bottles instead of buying water in disposable plastic bottles.
- Localize your landscaping! Select plants that are native to your regional environment—climate-appropriate landscaping can use less than half the water of traditional landscaping. (energystar.gov)
Check for Leaks. The average household's leaks can add up to nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted each year—and 10% of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day! (epa.gov)
- Consider retrofitting old toilets to more efficient versions. Modern high-efficiency toilets are actually more powerful while using much less water than older models.
MLS WORKS Newsletter
MLS WORKS updates delivered to your inbox. Never miss the news that matters to you.