Monday, July 27, 2009

Green Monster

I admit. At first I did it to see a free game.

My affiliation with Boston University garnered me a spot on the Fenway Park Green Team. Technically, I think the Green Team is mostly supposed to be comprised of students, but I've taken classes, so be quiet, you! Anyway, the Fenway Park Green Team walks the aisles during the game and collects the plastic bottles and cups and helps save the Earth and keeps Fenway Park clean. Green team members are given a free, very bright green t-shirt and a voucher for a free hotdog and soda. And you are at Fenway Park during a game without paying billions of dollars. You can't lose.

So, when I got my e-mail saying that I was selected, I was all, "Cool! Free game!" Obviously, I'm a Red Sox fan, but more than that, I have come to realize that Fenway Park is possibly my favorite place on Earth. So, any excuse to be there is fine by me. However, I am also a bit of an environmentalist (I'm not going to chain myself to a nuclear reactor or anything, but I recycle a lot), so it's basically win-win. I get a free game, and the Earth gets saved.

What I did not realize going in was that Red Sox Nation would also be into this. At first, I was a little nervous that I would have to wander around telling at the top of my lungs to get people to throw their plastic cups at me. But as the game began, and a lot of beer was consumed, all I really had to do was get the ball rolling a little by picking up a cup here and there, and pretty soon I had folks clamoring to recycle their plastic. One lady, waving her coke bottle, yelled, "Hey, Green Team Man! Over here!" I told her that I was indeed "Mr. Green. I'm so serene." I had people asking me how to get on the Green Team (incidentally, you can probably find out more info here.) I had one guy ask me if the bottle caps are recyclable, because he heard they weren't. I actually felt bad that I didn't know, although I had been recycling them all night, so I hoped they were. At least he cared to ask.

But what really gave me the warm fuzzy was all the people who thanked me for collecting their stuff. Honestly, I was grateful for them to be giving me the stuff. Why were they thanking me? One gentlemen even said that I was doing a good thing. I wanted to say, "Really? Getting into a free game?" I admit, it was tiring, although I was really enjoying being at the game. But my friend Heidi (who volunteered with me, and incidentally filled 4 times as many bags as I did, thanks to her yelling technique, and, I suspect, the fact that she's a cute girl.) pointed out that we were in fact volunteering, and that is always a good thing. And when I told my brother about it, he said, "Hey, just because you're getting something out of it, doesn't mean that it's not a good thing."

I think I was really shocked because of late, I had become rather disillusioned by people's lazy and sometimes gross attempts at recycling (the soiled diaper I found in the paper recycling bin at work may have had something to do with it.) It never faield to irk me when I see plastic bottles being carelessly thrown in a bin clearly maked PAPER ONLY. I mean, if you're thinking about it enough to not throw it in the garbage, how much more thought does it require to throw it in the bin marked PLASTIC? and there are those people who think it's all a myth and that the planet is actually okay. Well, fuck you. Take a trip to Greenpland and stand on the cost for awhile. Betcha fall in in a couple days.

So, I think this experience has made me a little more positive about the whole thing. There are a lot of people who care about the environment and want to recycle (if the small sampling of fans in sections 19-23 of Fenway Park on Saturday night are any indictaion). I may not have saved the Earth, but in the end, maybe I was the one who was saved.

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