United States Tennis Association’s Lauren Tracy, DIGDEEP Water’s George McGraw and Music for Relief’s Whitney Showler
The United States Tennis Association started a recycling initiative for the 2008 U.S. Open. That year, approximately 30,000 bottles and cans were recycled at the event. By 2013, more than half-a-million bottles and cans were recycled at the U.S. Open. The USTA, guided by its Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Lauren Tracy, is focusing on showing fans that attend live tennis events that the reuse practices in place really pay off. At the U.S. Open, waste generated from the previous year is recycled as compost to feed flowers on the Open grounds. Tennis ball cans become lanyards the following year. Seventy thousand spent tennis balls are strategically reused.
“The tennis fan is very different than another sport’s fan,” Tracy explains. “It’s [about] understanding what is meaningful to them. We’re able to message what we’re doing to our fans to help engage them and [help them] hopefully do the same when they go home. They know what they’re supposed to be doing, and they know it’s important not only for the U.S. Open, but also for the entire country.”
Did you know that more than 800 million people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water? And, about 2 billion people do not have access to a toilet. Here in the U.S., nearly 2 million people do not enjoy these privileges that so many of us take for granted. George McGraw‘s DIGDEEP Water project, which facilitates water access in water-starved areas across the globe — including here in the U.S. — aims to empower communities by using water as a rallying point for the future. McGraw’s goal is to provide “a very human, individual approach to water access” by showing donors and recipients alike that water is important to us all.
“The thing about water is that it affects us all equally,” McGraw says. “Whether you have access to water or not, it’s important that that access is truly sustainable — that you protect it, conserve it [and] understand it.”
Rock band Linkin Park founded Music for Relief in 2005 after the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami at the end of 2004. In 2007, the band handed over the keys to Whitney Showler to take the organization to the next level. Music for Relief is dedicated to sending relief and aid to victims of natural disasters, while also improving the environment by addressing global warming effects, especially in those areas that are prone to natural disasters. Music for Relief raises money through donations, concerts, auctions and other regularly scheduled events, and enjoys support from artists across the globe, including Enrique Iglesias, Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews Band and many more.
“We have this dual mission, because we don’t want to just be reactive, we want to be preventative as well,” Showler says. “Music for Relief was born at a time when the Internet was how people communicated and got their information. We’ve been able to generate this global base of supporters that are impacted by our programs on the ground.”