If you haven't yet noticed, it's the NBA's annual Green Week
. It's a time when the league focuses on ways teams and their fans can have a positive impact on the environment.
Of course here in Portland, every week is green week. That's not to say that other teams aren't walking the sustainable walk for all but seven days a season, but it's safe to say the Trail Blazers, by virtue of being located in Portland, pay more attention to mitigating their environmental impact than most.
From the new electric vehicle charging stations
, to the Corix "living wall,"
to the Rose Garden's LEED certification
to being one of the first members of the Green Sports Alliance
the team has taken extensive steps to be a environmentally responsible part of the community. It's not lip service here in Rip City.
And as you might expect, the efforts by the team and the emphasis put on being a steward of the environment in Portland has rubbed off on the players, or at least it's starting to.
"I'm still adjusting," said rookie Nolan Smith, who grew up near Washington DC. "I'm kind of stuck in my ways of just throwing trash away, but I've started to adjust and become more green as well."
"It's definitely a very green city," said second year player Luke Babbitt. "It's kind of ahead of the curve, very progressive in that aspect. I try to keep up, always recycle and do my part."
Even for a guy from France, a country that was recently listed the seventh-most environmentally conscious nation
, the environment in Oregon and the efforts made by its citizens is impressive.
"Where I'm from it's pretty green also," said Nicolas Batum, "but I love being here because you have no big buildings everywhere. My girlfriend's mom came to visit, she said 'You've got trees everywhere!' That's nice. It's very peaceful, because when I wake up I can see nature, the trees everywhere. I love it."
So while Portland's status as one of the United States' most environmentally conscious cities might never sway a big name free agent to sign with the Trail Blazers, at least you can feel good knowing that once they're here, they're trying to do their part.
"Since I came to Portland I've realized it's very clean, littering is not allowed," said Nolan Smith. "The fine is probably ten times bigger than it is in DC. People out here, they really love their environment. They take care of it. I've definitely seen that from Day One."