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by Michael Jafari / Buffalo Sabres
Since its launch, the Buffalo Sabres Green Team has been on a mission to help Western New York improve its environmental health.  The Green Team has been able to carry out the mission with the help of many Sabres fans, but there is still plenty of work to do.

One way Sabres fans can help take care of the local environment is to spend some time picking up debris and garbage from our local parks.  Places like Como Park, Delaware Park and Chestnut Ridge stand out because of the scenery and the number of residents that visit them on a daily basis.  However, the unlimited access to these parks makes it easy for the parks to be victimized with litter and hazardous waste, which not only causes harm to the environment, but it takes away the natural beauty of these areas.

If an active segment of our community can just donate 30 minutes of their time to pick up trash in our parks and toss it away, it will make a significant difference in the community.  There are a number of local organizations that dedicate a few volunteer days a year to serve just this purpose, several of which have been detailed throughout the year in the Sabres’ Green News. 

Another way Sabres fans can keep Buffalo clean is to keep an eye on our local lakes, ponds and creeks.  Since Lake Erie is a major transportation source in the Great Lakes region, it’s very easy for debris and garbage to travel into the local water streams and wash up on shore.  Trash like aluminum cans, glass and plastic that wash up are especially hazardous since they are insoluble in water, meaning that the material does not break down over time and remains in the water. 

Although the community can vow to keep its bodies of water clean, the source is so large that it is almost impossible to keep everything from entering the water.  Like the park suggestion, we as a community should take a little time to clean up our shorelines to give the wildlife and water environments a little “breathing room” and make sure hazardous items like aluminum, glass and plastic are disposed of properly.

In terms of disposing of that trash and debris, there are several local institutions that specialize in recycling or re-using certain materials.  There are several scrap metal recycling centers like Twin Village Recycling in Depew and Metalico in Buffalo that will pay individuals who bring in their scrap metal to be recycled.  These companies accept a majority of items such as electronics, aluminum, Christmas lights and much more. 

Another place where members of the community can recycle is at local grocery stores.  Many stores have stepped up efforts over the years to help the environment and will gladly accept aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass bottles that once held soda, water or other drinks, as well as used plastic grocery bags.  The next time you visit your local grocery store, keep an eye out for the bins or machines that accept these used products.  In addition, your town or county picks up plastic, glass and paper materials that can be recycled.

Sabres fans can contribute to making the community a greener place by following these simple tips.  By taking a few minutes each week to contribute to turning the earth green, you are making Buffalo a much cleaner place, and you are also saving the habitats of local wildlife.  By taking part in efforts to “go green,” Sabres fans have shown why blue and gold make green.

For more tips on helping blue and gold make green or to become a Green Team member, click here.
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