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GAUSTAD'S GREEN INITIATIVE

Tuesday, 03.24.2009 / 2:29 PM / Blue & Gold Make Green
By Erin Pollina  - Sabres.com
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GAUSTAD\'S GREEN INITIATIVE
Paul Gaustad (Photo: Getty Images)
Paul Gaustad may not have been present at the 2007 NHL All Star Game, but what transpired at the event has certainly impacted the centerman.

It was there that the Buffalo Sabres minority owner Larry Quinn was approached by defenseman Andrew Ference, then playing for the Calgary Flames, about a project he was working on throughout the League.

“He had a strong interest in the environmental movement and through the NHLPA was attempting to develop a uniform program with each team,” Quinn said. “It got me thinking about it… I came back to Buffalo and was interested in finding somebody that would get involved in that.”

Enter Gaustad, who has since become the official spokesperson for the Sabres Green Team; an initiative designed to educate and help fans reduce their environmental footprint. Since its inception in March 2008, the program has grown to 3,479 members.

“I don’t know if it’s something that I planned to get involved in,” he said. “But growing up, with my family, it was always a concern and a priority to reduce waste by trying to do the little things to help out.

“When the Sabres approached me and told me what they were thinking about doing I was more than happy to provide some feedback.”

Gaustad has been active; producing public service announcements and providing tips about how to become ‘green.’ He has more recently visited schools in Western New York to discuss the program with students.

“It’s great to get young kids involved,” Gaustad said. “They are going to learn about it and make an impact one day.”

Gaustad has also taken responsibility in his own life.

He is one of 17 members on the team participating in the NHLPA’s Carbon Neutral Challenge.

The initiative, also created in part by Ference, allows players to offset their carbon footprint from extensive travel throughout the season by donating money to generate renewable energy.
 
He has also placed recycling bins in the Sabres locker room and asked for participation from his teammates to use the receptacles.

“If you look at the amount of bottles and drinks we have here in the locker room, it adds up,” Jason Pominville said. “I think it’s important that we do it.”

Gaustad has taken that belief home as well. Renovating his house this summer, he has performed energy audits and completed installation work to reduce the amount of heat and electricity used. He has also used eco-friendly products wherever possible.

“Just little things, nothing huge,” Gaustad said. “That’s what we’re asking from the Buffalo community is for everyone to just do a little bit.”

For more information on how to become a member of the Buffalo Sabres Green Team, click here and look for Gaustad’s Green Tips of the Game at HSBC Arena.

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