Who knew that the NHL had concerns about the environment? Not me, that is for sure. That is until I read a story about the NHLPA’s carbon credits program on the David Suzuki Foundation website. I had previously seen news stories about notable celebrities like Cameron Diaz and Leonardo Dicaprio’s support of carbon offset programs, but hockey players? Apparently, despite the massive energy sucking buildings that they play in and the unbelieveable amount of waste produced at just one of the more than 2000 games in a season, the players do have an environmental conscience.

Players will be making up for the greenhouse gases that they produce mainly through their travel by purchasing carbon offsets. These carbon offsets are essentially credits achieved by other projects such as solar and wind farms. The David Suzuki Foundation facilitates the NHL player’s purchase of high quality, Gold Standard carbon credits through Montreal-based not-for-profit, Planetair. The ultimate goal is for the NHLPA to become carbon neutral. By using hockey celebrities as the hook, the joint effort between the NHLPA and the David Suzuki Foundation will promote global warming solutions “to help move the public sentiment from deep concern to meaningful action”.

After my initial skepticism I was happy to read that the many NHLPA members are going even further than just offsetting their travel. To date 420 NHPLA members have signed up to take more action in their own lives to reduce their environmental footprint. The program has recruited several ‘green ambassadors’ to get the message out to the public including Scott Niedermayer , Ryan Miller, Willie Mitchell and Matt Bradley. Robyn Regehr, one of my favorite NHL players, has gone so far as to invest in environmentally friendly diapers for his new baby. Who knew?

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