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420 players join NHLPA's Carbon Neutral Challenge this season

TORONTO - More than 420 players have joined the NHLPA Carbon Neutral Challenge this season, a program designed to offset the emissions produced by their frequent travel.

Boston Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference started the initiative last season, convincing more than 350 players to each buy 10 tonnes of Gold Standard carbon credits.

The total cost for each player is US$320.

Conducted in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation, the program has grown in its second year.

"I'm very proud that we've offset more than 4,200 tonnes of carbon emissions this season, which is like taking 840 cars off the road for a year," Ference said in a release. "But best of all, I'm hearing of more and more players in the dressing rooms talking about 'going green."'

The carbon credits will help fund solar stove projects in Madagascar, a small sustainable energy project in Indonesia and high efficiency stoves in India that burn plant waste instead of gas.

Ference was inspired to launch the program by Canadian Olympic skier Thomas Grandi, who along with wife Sara Renner, an Olympic silver medallist in cross-country skiing, hooked up with Suzuki in December 2006.

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