Nation's First Zero Waste Tennis Tournament Challenges Tradition

Tournament Organizers Hope to Turn Their Sport into an Environmental Champion

PJ Trask
Marketing Director
Brandon Walton
Tournament Director

Boulder Tennis Association

BOULDER, March 1, 2007 - The Boulder Tennis Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to the growth of tennis, is creating the nation's most environmentally friendly tennis tournament, with a long-range goal of turning their sport toward environmental sustainability.

The tournament, the 41st Annual Austin Scott Memorial, is one of the longest running and largest tennis tournaments in Colorado. This year the tournament boasts 8 different environmental initiatives, including Zero Waste and Carbon Neutrality. The Zero Waste services, provided by Boulder non-profit Eco-Cycle, aims to reduce the amount of waste generated through reuse, or by utilizing recycling and composting collection bins on-site. As a Zero Waste event, the tournament expects to recycle and compost 90% of its waste that would have otherwise entered a landfill. The event is also working with Boulder based non-profit, Driven by the Wind, to achieve Carbon Neutrality, by offsetting both the tournament's electricity use and the emissions of over 35,000 miles that the 400 competitors will drive to the weeklong tournament.

To meet their other environmental initiatives, tournament organizers have had to get creative and break with typical tournament traditions. Rather than give out non-recyclable water bottles to every competitor, or tennis t-shirts (most tournament players have a closet full), the group has decided to give players gifts in other, more environmentally friendly ways. Competitors will be offered organic food throughout the tournament, a chance to recycle their old tennis shoes, and prizes for choosing to carpool, bike, walk or utilizing mass transit to the tournament. "One of our goals is to not only encourage, but to reward environmentally sustainable decisions made by our players," says Marketing Director PJ Trask.

The tournament organizers have broader goals than to "green" one local tennis tournament. Tournament director Brandon Walton sees tennis as having the potential to be an environmental leader among traditional sports. "When you think about the demographic of tennis, it's easy to see the potential the sport has regarding environmental sustainability. Currently, the tennis industry and its governing organizations are focused inward on growing the sport. Someday, though, they may feel a responsibility and see the potential of promoting sustainability within tennis." Tournament organizers hope that by taking these first steps and raising awareness among other tennis organizations, they can "jump start" their sport toward sustainability.

The 41st Austin Scott Memorial Tennis Tournament will be held at the CU South Campus Courts, from April 28 th thru May 5 th. For more information on the Boulder Tennis Association and the 41st Austin Scott Memorial Tennis Tournament, please visit