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Thesis - NASCARs response to the environmental critiques is adequate. 1.

NASCAR has been the target of criticism about fuel consumption, emissions, and pollutions and the use of lead additives in gasoline. A normal car gets less than twenty miles per gallon fuel efficiency whereas NASCAR has its standard of five miles per gallon, because catalytic converters, mufflers, and other emission control devices were not built into race cars which are usually regulated by US government agency for normal cars [1]. One race in NASCAR is equivalent to fuelling seven normal cars or powering three houses for a whole year [1]. NASCAR annually releases green house gases 4million pounds per year whereas; the average American releases 40,000 pounds per year [1]. NASCAR has been using leaded fuel in their race cars even though this was completely phased out by US regulating agencies for commercial cars since 1970s after catalytic converters were installed in cars. The excessive emission of fumes from the use of leaded fuel was detrimental to human health. In NASCAR, the audience is the most important asset and travels long distances to watch and enjoy the race which contributes to emissions by individual passenger cars. NASCAR has so much of waste material such as food packages, beverage containers, used tires and batteries which are produced by the audience and race car drivers, creating an issue of waste disposal. According to US department of energy data [2], the biggest part of our environmental impact comes from electricity, and NASCAR consumes so much

power for the television on each track and electronic score boards. NASCAR utilizes power almost 38 weeks a year which requires a lot of electricity. 2. NASCAR changed completely due to the public criticism about the dangerous impact it has on the environment. NASCAR realizes its atmospheric burden and started using unleaded fuel with ethanol for reducing emission. NASCAR started the recycling program in 2009 and recycled approximately 2.5 million beverage containers and more than 80 tons of material. In 2010, NASCAR recycled more than 5.5 million beverage containers and 200 tons of material processed which is the highest percent of the two years. Through corporate and community partnership, NASCAR has developed in the process of cleaning and collecting waste material. i. Clean cardboard was used for packing food and other products for sale. ii. Inside the garage, some 185,000 gallons of automotive fluids were collected and refined every year. iii. Used tires and batteries were also collected and recycled. iv. The waste materials produced by the audience were collected by a curbside recycling service at the track campground. NASCAR, in order to reduce the heavy power consumption by the race car events and to reduce the environmental impact, built a solar power plant at Pocono raceway at a cost of $16 million [2]. This power plant

produces three megawatts of electricity, and is the largest renewableenergy power plant at any sports venue in the world. NASCAR introduced a green clean air program [3] at Michigan international speedway which plants 10 trees in the ground for every green flag that drops. Averages of 100 trees were planted at the track and surrounding community each year. Each tree is expected to collect more than a ton of carbon dioxide in its lifetime which is actually reducing the carbon footprints of each Sprint Cup car during a 500-mile race. All NASCAR corporate offices have introduced a program aimed at 100 percent recycling. The newest NASCAR buildings, the 20-story NASCAR plaza in Charlotte, N.C. and the international Speedway Corp. and NASCAR headquarters buildings in Daytona Beach, Fla., are initiating Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED). The LEED certificate requiresi. The use of recycled material ii. Eliminating or reducing the amount of waste leaving at track iii. Re-using existing material iv. Using sustainable green building material v. Using materials such as caulk and sealers that present a low environmental impact. NASCAR is switching from carburetors to fuel injection in their engines to change the fuel mixture to as high as 85-100 percent ethanol which will be a great change to save the environment.

Since, NASCAR promotes green initiatives, the audience also started caring about green initiatives. For every flag dropped on the ground, NASCAR plants 10 trees which is observed by all the audience, and they follow the system even after they go home. By planting trees NASCAR may motivate other people to do the same which together save the environment. In this way NASCAR is spreading its impact to its fan base to take green initiatives.

Auto club Speedway in Southern California hosts several recycling events annually such as an annual mower-recycling day, where they collect gas powered lawn mowers for disposal. They also collect low efficiency toilets and old TVs for proper waste disposal.

NASCAR provides at all its race events pre-addressed, postage-paid envelope to recycle their used wireless phones, batteries and accessories and also provides a hauler emission reduction program that curtails the idling of the race car transporters at the track.

Some NASCAR teams started purchasing carbon credits to offset the carbon emissions for some of their races. NASCAR driver Leilani Munter even purchases an acre of rainforest to balance the carbon she emits during her races.

3. References 1. http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/nascarenvironment1.htm

2. http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/NASCAR-works-to-improveperception-impact-of-environmental-programs-042011 3. http://www.internationalspeedwaycorporation.com/Paving-The-Way/GoingGreen.aspx