Earth Day is right around the corner on April 22 and Major League Soccer clubs are already hard at work during Greener Goals Week of Service.
The initiative is designed to reduce the league’s greenhouse gas footprint and raise awareness about environmental issues throughout the soccer community. During Week 8, clubs will once again be wearing the adidas x Parley kits made from intercepted ocean plastic to wrap up the Week of Service.
It's efforts like these that played a big part in MLS earning the title of most responsible soccer league in the world in December.
Below are some of this year's highlights:
The defending MLS Cup champions spent the day at the Georgia Aquarium, learning about wildlife preservation and keeping the oceans clean. Maybe Atlanta found a new supersub at the penguin exhibit? Center back Leandro Gonzalez Pirez sure looks inclined.
To cap off their Greener Goals week, ATLUTD also swung by a local Home Depot with local children to review recycling and reusables in the community.
Looking to keep local parks clean? The Fire have your bases covered.
The Orange and Blue only began as a USL club in 2016, but their roots are firmly entrenched in the Ohio community. As part of Greener Goals, the club partnered with Keep Cincinnati Beautiful volunteers to clean up Sands Playground in the West End, the same neighborhood its soccer-specific stadium will be built in.
They also learned of ways to repurpose plastic bags with children.
Ahead of their Friday night game vs. Real Salt Lake, the expansion side is collecting spare bags, too.
The Rapids built gardens at Jefferson Green Park and Rosamund Park.
Columbus Crew SC
On Tuesday afternoon, the Crew’s Zack Steffen, Patrick Mullins and Hector Jimenez helped finalize the construction of a new community garden at Beatty Park Elementary. The project, in conjunction with Columbus City Schools and the non-profit Local Matters, helped build beds and plant greenery.
Maybe Ryan Hollingshead and Paxton Pomykal are heading back to school? No, that’s just FC Dallas giving a helping hand at My Possibilities, a full-day continuing education and job development program in Plano, Texas that helps adults who suffer from an intellectual or developmental disability.
The club from our nation's capital was hard at work, cleaning up trash and planting greenery.
What better way for an MLS team to give back than helping grow the game for children in their very city? That’s exactly what the Dynamo did, giving the Dalecrest Soccer Fields a facelift and partial renovation.
Surf's up? More like time to clean up. LAFC’s day at the beach didn’t entail riding waves, but the Western Conference side and early-season Supporters’ Shield leaders cleaned up a beach in Santa Monica, Calif. There are worse ways to spend your weekend.
When hosting the Houston Dynamo on Friday (11 pm ET | Unimas in US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada; Streaming on Twitter), the Galaxy will celebrate their "Protect the Pitch Night," an effort to increase sustainability efforts and reduce the club's carbon footprint. One aspect is the Galaxy Garden, an on-site garden and greenhouse that grows fruits and vegetables consumed by the players and staff. Fans can also ride a Galaxy Express shuttle to the game, and the first 200 riders will receive a free Galaxy t-shirt.
Last week, the Galaxy hosted a Gardening Day at a nearby elementary school. They're also set to host a beach clean-up day on June 22 in conjunction with the Surfrider Foundation.
One week after opening Allianz Field, the Loons swung by their local Boys and Girls Club, painting murals with young fans.
The Impact helping two community organizations on Wednesday. The first was a community garden, while the other included working with Projet Harmonie.
New York City FC
NYCFC players and staff spent part of Friday cleaning up Jerome Slope in the Bronx.. They worked closely with the Parks Agency and the New York Restoration Project to clean up litter, restore plant life and remove weeds.
Additionally, NYCFC tramed up with the 161st Street Business Improvement District to plant flower beds on 161st Street and clean up the Bronx Stadium Guardians.
Orlando City SC
The Lions will work with the City of Orlando for food waste reclamation, where the stream is delivered to a waste-to-energy/fertilizer plant at Walt Disney World. Talk about going eco-friendly.
Rap meets soccer meets waste clean-up. That was the mix on Monday, as the Union, along with local rapper Asher Roth, buffed up Cruz Park. The club even had a competition where the group with the most clean-up bags filled won 2019 Philadelphia Union Parley kits.
Real Salt Lake
The Claret and Cobalt are going all in on being energy efficient. They’re utilizing a 2020-kilowatt solar panel system that will offset nearly 73 percent of the organization’s total annual stadium power needs.
San Jose Earthquakes
Earth Day celebrations for the Earthquakes are set for Saturday’s home game vs. Sporting Kansas City (10 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, on DAZN in Canada). The match will see the official concessionaire of Avaya Stadium switching from plastic to paper straws. Other plans include the club’s communications department deploying digital-only match guides to members of the media.
They also went out and planted trees in San Jose.
Seattle Sounders FC
The Sounders are going all in on the eco-friendly measures, starting with utilizing stadium compost for locally-grown vegetables.
CenturyLink Field is also committed to going carbon neutral for 2019, and the club is partnering with the Evergreen Carbon Capture program of Forterra and DIRT Corps to plant hundreds of trees in the region.
The club also spent time out at a local elementary school, planting gardens and beds.
Sporting Kansas City
As part of last Sunday’s 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls, SKC deployed a whole slew of initiatives. They did everything from collecting new or gently-used soccer equipment, handing out reusable shopping bags and sourcing biodegradable vessels for food and beverage concessions.
SKC also spent time with pets awaiting adoption at a no-kill shelter, showing there's more than one way to impact a community.
The 2017 MLS Cup champions did their part on the gardening front, too. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment has also purchased energy certificates for all TFC regular-season home games this year.