Alena Olsen fights climate change

USA Rugby has announced that their Women’s Sevens National Team player Alena Olsen is someone that is very passionate about fighting for a greener environment.

USA Rugby Said: As a member of EcoAthlete and the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce, Olsen spends her time off the pitch developing new initiatives to support sustainability and mitigate the risks of climate change.

For Earth Day last year, Olsen garnered commitments from fellow national team players to engage in activities that reduce their carbon emissions. This year, she’s taken it one step further by organizing a national challenge with her entire team that encourages members of the community to get active and reach a goal of having 5,000 trees planted.

“The climate is changing and there’s no time for a debate about it,” said Olsen. “But we have the power and ability to make changes. It’s specifically important that we do it as a team because that’s the only way we’ll be able to solve any big issues in front of us.”

Titled Going for Green, the challenge is led by Olsen and the U.S. Rugby Players Association. For every fitness activity logged, the Eden Restoration Project will plant one tree towards the overall goal of 5,000 trees. The best part is that members of the community can participate alongside the USA Women’s Sevens players as a combined effort in favor of an important cause.

“It’s a win-win. Their body feels good and the Earth feels good. Trees are crucial in mitigating climate change and the damaging consequences that come with it. Trees clean the air by absorbing harmful pollutants and sweeping up dust and smoke. They balance atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by storing it within them, stabilizing soil and life. Trees also moderate local climates by providing shade and regulating extreme temperatures.”

Olsen has generated support from her entire squad. Members of the team will all log activities and contribute to making a positive impact on the environment.

“We talk about what kind of team we want to be and what is important to us. Our job is to represent our country. We want to make our community proud and serve them the best we can, so there’s a lot of interest in charitable initiatives and using our platform to inspire and make a positive impact. This event was a vehicle to act on our team values.”

And while values are a hugely important piece to the team dynamic, so too is the philosophy for national team players to use their platforms for the greater good.

“It’s becoming increasingly normal for athletes, businesses, celebrities – entities with a platform – to discuss important issues. We’re not just players, we’re multifaceted people just like everyone else on the planet and anyone who is passionate enough to talk about something should feel like they have the option to do so.”

The Going for Green challenge will continue until the team has reached its goal of planting 5,000 trees.

To join, fans should download the Active Giving App, create a profile and use code RUGGFG. From there, any activity logged (running, hiking, swimming, biking, walking, etc.) translates to a tree planted. It’s a simple yet effective way to make a difference.