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11/01/09 6:00 PM EST

Phillies think Green year-round

Franchise is only carbon-neutral team since 2008

PHILADELPHIA -- Mother Nature threw a cruel wrinkle in the World Series' return to Philadelphia on Saturday, soaking Citizens Bank Park with steady showers that delayed Game 3 by 80 minutes.

That hardly seems fair, considering that the Phillies are one of the most environmentally friendly organizations in Major League Baseball.

The league typically sends out its MLB Green Teams to encourage recycling throughout the World Series, but the Phillies have been doing that throughout the past two seasons with their own Red Goes Green Teams.

"Everyone in our organization, all the employees -- every day, we're looking for new ideas," said Phillies coordinator of marketing initiatives Mary Ann Gettis. "Any way that we can help the environment."

Since 2008, the Phillies have been the only carbon-neutral Major League team. They purchased 20 million kilowatt-hours of Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Energy certificates this year, equivalent to planting 100,000 trees.

They developed a Recyling Center for use by all departments and, for fans, have 35 oversized recyclable containers throughout Citizens Bank Park. And that doesn't include Phil the Can, a talking robotic can that encourages the Phillies' youngest fans to recycle.

2009 World Series
Gm. 1 PHI 6, NYY 1 Wrap Video
Gm. 2 NYY 3, PHI 1 Wrap Video
Gm. 3 NYY 8, PHI 5 Wrap Video
Gm. 4 NYY 7, PHI 4 Wrap Video
Gm. 5 PHI 8, NYY 6 Wrap Video
Gm. 6 NYY 7, PHI 3 Wrap Video

All told, the organization's recycling rate was around 16 to 17 percent, collecting roughly 210 tons through August.

Sometimes, the Phillies implement fan suggestions. One nurse at the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania, for instance, suggested recycling bottle caps that were normally discarded. By reaching out to a local recycling center, the organization was able to help the environment and raise money for CHOP.

Working with their food distributor, Aramark, and with local community groups, the Phillies found an appropriate use for the cooked items that remain unsold at the end of each game. The club signed on for Rock and Wrap it Up! to donate the food to those in need.

Among other initiatives: All tickets are printed on paper that is made from 10% post-consumer content; customer retail bags are made from biodegradable plastic; eating utensils are made from vegetable-based biodegradable products; carry-out trays are 100-percent post-consumer fiber; the grounds grew uses organic fertilizer; the Diamond Club and Majestic Clubhouse Store now use LED lighting; and frying oil is recycled into bio-diesel fuel.

David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.