Within the past few years, champions of the environment have emerged in the hockey world at all levels of the game. The mission and message of the League’s environmental platform is echoing throughout youth, college, junior and professional leagues and teams in communities large and small across the continent. The NHL is proud to inspire this sustainability movement and is pleased to profile those who are making a difference in their community.
As a prime example, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (www.albernivalleybulldogs.ca) hockey club is proving to be a green leader by endorsing and educating their young fans on ecologically sustainable practices.
For a second straight season, the Bulldogs have partnered with Alberni Clayoquot Regional District to promote the 3R's (reduce, reuse, recycle) in local elementary schools.
“The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been inspired in part by the NHL Green program,” said Adam Hayduk, the Assistant Coach/Assistant General Manager of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in an e-mail to the League last week.
The hockey club, which plays out of Alberni Valley Multiplex - Weyerhaeuser Arena on Vancouver Island, B.C., is a member of the British Columbia Hockey League. Several Bulldogs alumni currently play NCAA Division 1 hockey, while two alumni have recently made it to NHL rosters: Harry Zolnierczyk (Pittsburgh Penguins) and David Dziurzynski (Ottawa Senators).
This season, the Bulldogs helped introduce the Waste-Free Lunch Challenge. Thirteen players were trained on recycling techniques, and were sent into classrooms to demonstrate how students can make a difference by reducing the amount of waste generated from their school lunches.
“As players, we understand the importance of being role models for the community and for younger kids,” said Bulldogs second-year defenseman Kurt Gosselin. “We like to get involved as much as we can to make a difference in the community that has given us so much.”
Every day school lunches are a major source of waste in British Columbia – the average student’s lunch generates a total of 30 kilograms of waste per school per year, or an average of 8,500 kilograms of waste per school per year.
“It is our goal once again to reach out to 25 different elementary and middle school classrooms,” said Hayduk. “There are so many great local initiatives already in play to reduce, reuse, and recycle. However, the Waste-Free Lunch Challenge will give students an opportunity every week to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in our local landfill. It’s a great way to make a positive impact.”
Andy Daniel, the Regional District's Manager of Environmental Services, believes the Bulldogs bring to the program many great qualities. “They are exceptional speakers and are seen as leaders by youth within the community. The Bulldogs players and organization are genuinely interested in the environment and making a difference within the community.”
NHL Green is proud of the steps the Bulldogs are taking and applaud them as green leaders in the hockey community. We invite hockey clubs of any and all levels to share their environmental pursuits, challenges and success stories with us. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.