Project Green Ball Awards “Green Ball” Certificate to Pine Brook Country Club

Project Green Ball awarded its second “Green Ball” certificate of recognition to the Pine Brook Country Club in Weston, Massachusetts, for donation of 10,000 tennis balls to PGB.  Pine Brook recently passed the 10,000 ball donation level by contributing 900 additional balls to PGB, thereby bringing its total to 10,603 balls donated to PGB. Special thanks to Jimmy Sharton, Head Tennis Pro at Pine Brook, for his continued support of PGB.

PGB will award Green Ball certificates of recognition to facilities donating 10,000 balls to PGB and, periodically, Green Balls for other notable contributions to PGB.  The Longfellow Club, in Wayland, Massachusetts, was the first recipient of a Green Ball certificate of recognition.

If you are interested in participating in Project Green Ball, please reach out to Ben@projectgreenball.org to learn more about the program. Project Green Ball, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation whose mission it is to recycle tennis balls into second surfaces.  Once Project Green Ball collects and delivers 200,000 tennis balls to our turf manufacturer partner, IGK Equestrian, they will donate an equestrian turf to a therapeutic riding center for people with disabilities.  Currently, PGB has collected over 107,000 balls.

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Project Green Ball Facilitates $10,000 UPS Foundation Grant to EquiCenter to Purchase Tennis Ball-Based Riding Surface

Project Green Ball, Inc. organized and facilitated a grant of $10,000 from the UPS Foundation to EquiCenter in order to purchase a tennis ball-based surface for its indoor riding arena. EquiCenter will purchase the ball-based surface from Project Green Ball’s turf manufacturing partner IGK Equestrian.  The installation of the turf represents the second ball-based turf installed by IGK Equestrian in riding arenas.  The first turf was installed at the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, MA.

Project Green Ball is a not-for-profit corporation whose mission it is to recycle used tennis balls and to donate surfaces based on the recycled balls to programs for people with disabilities. Once PGB collects and delivers 200,000 balls to IGK Equestrian, they will donate a ball-based turf to a therapeutic riding program.  So far PGB has collected over 106,000 dead balls from over 45 tennis clubs, facilities, teams and tournaments.

EquiCenter, located in Honeoye Falls, NY, fosters the personal growth and individual achievement of people with disabilities, at-risk youth, Veterans, and their families using a wide range of therapeutic equestrian activities. The new turf replaces a badly out of date and worn riding surface, thereby providing a safer, more comfortable environment for EquiCenter’s  200 volunteers, 150 participants and 20 horses by reducing airborne dust and improving support, stability, traction and cushioning.  In addition, the new surface will save EquiCenter’s resources by reducing the staff and volunteer time used in dragging and watering the current surface, as well as the fuel and water costs associated with these activities.

The new turf will be a productive resting place for approximately 10,000 tennis balls which would otherwise have been disposed of in landfills.  The use of balls in the riding surface reduces approximately 1,400 pounds of solid waste from landfills.  EquiCenter’s installation of a tennis ball-based turf is a second proof point of the feasibility of recycling tennis balls.

If you operate or know of a therapeutic riding center which could benefit from a ball-based turf, please reach out to info@projectgreenball.org so we can discuss ways in which we can work together.

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Project Green Ball wins Institution Innovation Award at the MassRecycle’s 18th Annual Recycling Awards

On November 5, MassRecycle recognized Project Green Ball, Inc. with an Institution Innovation Award as part of MassRecycle’s 18th Annual Recycling Awards, held at the Hanover Theater, Worcester.

Project Green Ball was cited for its innovative tennis ball recycling program. PGB facilitates the grinding and recycling of tennis balls in equestrian turf. PGB has teamed with an equestrian turf provider located in upstate New York to produce turf based on ground tennis balls. In exchange for delivery of 200,000 balls to the turf provider, the provider has agreed to donate a ball-based equestrian surface to a therapeutic riding center servicing people with disabilities and life threatening diseases. When the initial 200,000 balls are collected, over 14 tons of solid waste will be recycled and diverted from landfills into a use for the benefit of persons with disabilities. Project Green Ball has collected over 106,000 tennis balls in just over a year from more than 45 clubs, teams, schools, camps, tennis facilities and hundreds of individuals throughout the United States.

MassRecycle is a statewide coalition of individuals, municipalities, businesses, and institutions dedicated to increasing waste reduction and diversion in the Commonwealth and to realizing the environmental, social, job creation and economic benefits that result from recycling and purchasing recycled products.

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Bio-degradable Overgrips!

We recently learned about a really cool new environmentally conscious, bio-degradable tennis product that we want to share with members of the Project Green Ball community.  Own The Zone’s (OTZ) EcoGrip is the world’s first bio-degradable overgrip and is available in tacky or smooth.  The company reports that the grips break down naturally in one year.

In terms of playability we saw no difference between the EcoGrip (tacky or smooth) and other comparable, thicker overgrips on the market.  Grip price is competitive with other non-bio-degradable overgrips.

OTZ believes that tens of millions of overgrips are used and discarded annually from tennis, badminton, squash and racket ball.  According to OTZ, “traditional overgrips are made out of polyurethane, the same material used to make heart valves, foam cushions and skateboard wheels. Just like heart valves the grips are made to last, resist erosion and not break down in the environment. They are not bio-degradable.”

“EcoGrip utilizes new technology in polymer chemistry to enable EcoGrip to be the first eco-friendly sports grip products on the market,” says Julius Stockfish Co-President, Own the Zone. “Not only does EcoGrip feel and play like the very best overgrips on the market, but when replaced and discarded it breaks down rapidly in the ecosystem. No other hard wearing, abrasion resistant polyurethane material has ever done that.”

We love that there are other innovators in the tennis industry who are developing environmentally conscious solutions to address the large amount of solid waste produced by the tennis industry.  We encourage other tennis players interested in the environment to purchase the OTZ EcoGrip and to lobby tennis manufacturers to adopt more environmentally friendly manufacturing methods and product stewardship initiatives.

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OTZ EcoGrip (brown - originally white) decaying in a compost pile next to traditional neon colored non-bio-degradable overgrips

OTZ EcoGrip (brown – originally white) decaying in a compost pile next to traditional neon colored non-bio-degradable overgrips

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Project Green Ball Collects Over 100,000 Tennis Balls

In just over one year since commencing collection efforts, Project Green Ball has received donations of over 100,000 tennis balls.

Recent donors include: The Longfellow Club (1800 balls), Wightman Tennis Center (450), Belmont Hill School (250), Pine Brook Country Club (1450), Longwood Cricket Club (918), Tri-Valley League Tennis Teams (100), The Adirondack Club (350), Bosse Sports and Health Club (1600), Worcester Tennis Club (1260) and Manchester Bath and Tennis (125).

Currently, PGB’s ball collection efforts stand at 103,606 tennis balls, representing donations from over 45 clubs, teams, schools, tournaments, camps, leagues, individuals and the USTA New England.  Donations have been received from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Florida.  This summer PGB exhibited 10 separate occasions at Boston Lobsters and Philadelphia Freedoms home matches and at the International Tennis Hall of Fame Tournament, educating the public about recycling tennis balls. Over 20 volunteers participated in the exhibitions.

Project Green Ball is a sustainability initiative to recycle used tennis balls and to donate surfaces based on the recycled balls to programs for people with disabilities. Once PGB delivers 200,000 balls to our equestrian turf manufacturer partner, IGK Equestrian, they will donate a ball-based riding turf to a therapeutic riding program.

Notable contributions to PGB this past year include Wilson Sporting Goods facilitation of shipping for 20,000 tennis balls to our equestrian turf manufacturer and The Longfellow Club’s contribution of over 11,000 tennis balls.  Longfellow received a “Green Ball” certificate from PGB for its donation of 10,000 balls.

This past year PGB was also been fortunate to receive a DoSomething.com seed grant ($500), a Disney Friends for Change grant ($1,000) and an ABC Summer of Service Award ($1,000).  The funds from these grants helped PGB maintain and operate the program.

If you are interested in participating in PGB or donating balls to PGB, please send an e-mail to ben@projectgreenball.com.

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Project Green Ball Awards First “Green Ball” Certificate to The Longfellow Club

Project Green Ball awarded its first “Green Ball” certificate of recognition to The Longfellow Club in Wayland, Massachusetts, for donation of 10,000 tennis balls to PGB.  Longfellow recently passed the 10,000 ball donation level by contributing 1,800 additional balls to PGB, thereby bringing its total to 11,625 balls donated to PGB. Special thanks to Phil Parrish and Laury Hammel of The Longfellow Club for their continued support of PGB.

The Longfellow Clubs have a longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability and have developed a reputation as the greenest health clubs in the United States.  The clubs have pioneered sustainable business practices.

For those not versed in tennis awards, the Gold Ball is awarded by the United States Tennis Association to winners of national championships sponsored by the USTA.  PGB will award Green Ball certificates of recognition to facilities donating 10,000 balls to PGB and, periodically, Green Balls for other notable contributions to PGB.  The Longfellow Club is the first recipient of a Green Ball certificate of recognition.

If you are interested in participating in Project Green Ball, please reach out to Ben@projectgreenball.com to learn more about the program. Once Project Green Ball collects and delivers 200,000 tennis balls to our turf manufacturer partner, IGK Equestrian, they will donate an equestrian turf to a therapeutic riding center.

Project Green Ball "Green Ball" Certificate of Recognition presented to The Longfellow Club upon contribution of 10,000 balls to PGB.

Project Green Ball “Green Ball” Certificate of Recognition presented to The Longfellow Club upon contribution of 10,000 balls to PGB.

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High Schools and Colleges Contribute Balls to Project Green Ball from Recently Completed Seasons

Now that the high school and college tennis seasons are winding down, we hope that coaches, players and athletic directors will remember Project Green Ball and contribute their dead balls to PGB’s tennis ball recycling initiative.

Member schools in the New England Prepatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) have been exceptionally supportive of Project Green Ball.  So far this spring, we have received commitments from Hopkins School, Beaver Country Day School, St. George’s School, Tabor Academy and Phillips Academy Andover to contribute balls to Project Green Ball.

In addition, the Maimonides School, Regis College, and the men’s tennis team at Boston College have committed to giving balls to Project Green Ball from the just completed season.

Special thanks to the following coaches for their support – Bill Ewen and Susan Bennitt (Hopkins), Josh Rilla (BCDS), Stuart Titus (St. George’s), Steve Sughrue (Tabor), Gregory Wilkin (Andover), Bruce Brumberg (Maimonides), John Ciarleglio (Regis), and Gennady Burakovsky (BC).

If your high school or college season is over, please reach out to us at info@projectgreenball.com to contribute your dead balls!

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