HOUSTON -- Chris Johnson and Hunter Pence have grown up in a world that is more environmentally conscious than the previous generation, with recycling and conservation a growing part of the culture in the country.
That's why both were eager to serve as this year's ambassadors for the 2011 Astros Play Green Campaign, which was formed in '08 to create a positive environmental platform at Minute Maid Park and throughout Texas through a commitment to earth-friendly efforts to enhance the quality of life for fans.
"It's just an honor for me to be able to do and give back," Johnson said.
Pence, who served as ambassador last year with veteran Geoff Blum, has fully embraced the idea of a green life.
"I think it should be important for everyone to do their part and, in the grand scheme of things, do whatever you can to help in that area," Pence said. "It's what provides for us. I'm very proud to be able to represent the Play Green Campaign and hopefully be a role model to kids to try to do their part. Every little bit counts, and if everyone comes together, it makes a big difference."
As part of this initiative, a reusable grocery tote bag (April 28), an Astros Play Green T-shirt made of organic cotton (April 29) and the Pence Play Green Bobblehead (April 30) are all featured giveaways. In addition to the giveaways, the Astros will cap off the week with the club's first Bike to the Ballpark event (May 1).
Also, the Astros are having a Play Green Expo on Tuesday, a Habitat for Humanity home build on Wednesday and an adopt-a-block litter cleanup on April 28.
Either Johnson or Pence will be taking part in all of the Astros Play Green events, but it's more than just a photo opportunity.
"I try to make sure I'm doing little things, like making sure I turn off the lights," Pence said. "You don't want to throw trash anywhere, and you just take pride in our state, our environment and do as much as you can for the community. The more you can give, the more you can do, it makes for a better place to live."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.