| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Credit: Medioimages/Photodisc

The USTA has announced a further expansion of its environmental initiatives, now in their third year, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the U.S. Open, which annually hosts more than 700,000 fans during the two weeks of the event. Emmy-award winning actor Alec Baldwin once again joins the tennis facility’s namesake, Billie Jean King, as spokespeople for the USTA’s awareness campaign to encourage U.S. Open fans and others to help preserve the environment. New PSAs featuring Baldwin will be shown throughout the grounds. 

“For the past two years, the U.S. Open Green Initiatives have been among the most successful environmental endeavors of any sports property,” said Lucy S. Garvin, chairman of the board and president, USTA, and chairman of the U.S. Open. “The continued expansion of the green initiatives will help keep the USTA, the U.S. Open and tennis fans worldwide at the forefront of the global effort to preserve the environment.”

The USTA will continue to work with top environmental agency, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), as well as Billie Jean King’s GreenSlam and Eco Evolutions to develop ongoing initiatives to further reduce the U.S. Open’s carbon footprint and overall environmental impact.

In addition to the new Alec Baldwin PSAs, new initiatives for 2010 will include site-wide composting on the grounds at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, and the employment of two area undergraduates as part of Billie Jean King’s GreenTernship program.

In 2007, Billie Jean King founded and launched GreenSlam, an environmental initiative for the sports industry aimed at inspiring sports venues, promoters and manufacturers to make positive environmental impacts. In 2009, GreenSlam launched its GreenTernship program, designed to involve youth with green job training and the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the eco-sports movement. The U.S. Open will employ two GreenTerns from New York University to assist with the Green Initiatives. For more information, go to www.greenslam.net.

►Alec Baldwin and Billie Jean King once again serve as spokespeople for the awareness campaign to promote environmental consciousness among US Open fans, players, vendors, partners and sponsors, and two new PSAs featuring Baldwin will air on the JumboTron/videoboards throughout the grounds.

►2010 U.S. Open Green Initiatives are featured in the official U.S. Open program.

USOpen.org will feature an interview with Billie Jean King about the GreenTernship program.

►NRDC’s Simple Steps (environmental tips) will be featured in the Daily Drawsheet.

►A consumer waste recycling program for plastic and cans and an operational recycling program for cardboard and glass cover 100 percent of the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

►Following the U.S. Open, approximately 20,000 Wilson tennis ball cans are recycled. The 60,000 Wilson tennis balls used during the U.S. Open are reused for NTC programming and then donated to community and youth programs.

►Constellation Energy, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center’s electricity supplier, will supply Green-e Certified wind Renewable Energy Certificates to match the Center’s electricity consumption during the 2010 U.S. Open.

►IBM, which powers USOpen.org, will continue to utilize just six servers, down from 60 in 2008. Their energy consumption has been reduced by 40 percent and their cooling demand reduced by 48 percent.

►Hybrid vehicles are 55-60 percent of the Mercedes-Benz player transportation fleet, up from 40 percent in 2009.

►Each day during the two-week event, Esurance, the car insurance company, is distributing daily 125 MetroCards worth $4.50 to encourage the use of mass transit to and from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

►The 2.4 million napkins used by U.S. Open patrons in the general concession area during the tournament are comprised of 90 percent post-consumer waste, while Grey Goose napkins are comprised of 100 percent recycled content.

►The Daily Drawsheet and U.S. Open marketing materials are printed on paper comprised of 30 percent post-consumer waste and printed by companies certified by the Forest Stewardship Council—guaranteeing environmentally-responsible forest management.

►U.S. Open tickets are printed on paper comprised of 30 percent post-consumer waste, and parking books, parking visors and coupon books are printed on paper comprised of 10-15 percent post-consumer waste.

►100 percent of paper towel dispensers have been replaced with motion-sensor dispensers and all paper towels are comprised of 40 percent post-consumer waste.

►The U.S. Open collection will feature hats comprised of 50 percent post-consumer waste—each hat will contain the equivalent of two one-liter plastic bottles.

►U.S. Open merchandise stores will feature a souvenir-style shopping bag designed for multiple uses with a “recycle and reuse” message printed on the bottom. In addition, a reusable tote bag will be available for $5.

►A $10,000 donation from U.S. Open merchandise proceeds will go to Unisphere Inc., the non-profit organization that maintains and preserves Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

►Utensils, plates, cups, etc. are comprised of bio-based materials.

►The Stonyfield Café is added to the Food Village and will feature a grab-and-go dining option serving healthy food, fast—options are all-natural and/or organic, and locally grown.

For more information, visit www.usta.com.