Something old was new again in more ways than one on October 22 as the Tampa Bay Lightning battled the San Jose Sharks inside the St. Pete Times Forum. In addition to using recycled materials inside of the building on a daily basis as part of the team’s organizational eco-friendly philosophy, the Lightning temporarily exchanged its black blue and silver for green, highlighting the importance of recycling and environmental awareness by incorporating a new spin on an old habit.
As part of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Go Green Night presented by Waste Services of Florida, Tampa Electric Company (TECO), and Pro Shred, fans in attendance were encouraged to assist in the Tampa Bay community’s environmental efforts by receiving ticket discounts for supporting green initiatives.
“This was our night to celebrate all of our environmental initiatives,” said Mary Milne, Vice President of Building Operations and the Times Forum’s resident Green Queen. “We are hoping to take a leadership role, inducing others to follow suit at home or in their respective places of business.”
Some exchanged a night with their hands on the steering wheel for one that incorporated a set of handlebars instead, as many of the Lightning faithful rode their bicycles to the game not only to obtain free admission, but above all else, to emphasize the correlation between their own going-green goals and those of the organization. Others brought in old phone books to receive a discounted ticket price in a lower-level section of the arena.
But all contributed to fund the upcoming Tampa Bay Lightning Green Grant. Through proceeds received through promotional go-green hats and ticket sales, the Tampa Bay Lightning Green Grant will be awarded at the conclusion of the season as an integral part of the Lightning Foundation’s annual grant program.
“Our Green Grant will assist in making Tampa Bay a better place to live, work, and play for today and future generations,” Milne said.
While the Tampa Bay Lightning’s emphasis on going green is seemingly as long-established as recycling itself, the organization has no plans of going in any other direction. After all, at least in this case, too much of a good thing, is a green thing. And on Thursday night, just as something old was new, something also was tried and true.
“We’ve been going green since 2003, but even into this year we’ve been doing more internally to promote our efforts,” Milne added. “Our intent is to make the environment a much better place, and in order to do that, we have set some goals for ourselves.”
The Lightning and the St. Pete Times Forum have a personal initiative to increase all recycling efforts by 10 percent, as well as reducing the water demand and the use of electricity by that same figure. And if Thursday’s Go Green initiative was any indication, the positive support is sure to continue when the next Go Green Night at the Forum takes place in March 2010.
“The next Go Green Night is very similar to the way we work with our environmental efforts. While tonight was great, we’re always looking to grow on different things, to make them better, and to ultimately do the right thing.”
The truth is, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Go Green Night has already accomplished all three.