Eco-awareness had entered every pore of our society to the point that people want to incorporate the protection of the environment into sports activities as well. Professional sport will, unfortunately, always leave a huge eco-print on the environment but your weekend jogging or cycling in the park don’t have to. Environmental-friendly sports are the new hype that you have to join if you are truly eco-aware. Nearly any sport, especially amateur ones, can be practised in such a way that they work with the environment, rather than against it. However, before you decide to take u any of these sporting activities, there are a few points that are worth considering.
Location is everything
Do you like taking shortcuts on your way to work? If you do, then you have crossed a park or two. You might have noticed that dirt paths cut across green meadows, leaving nothing but bare ground behind them. One of the first principles of practising sports in a responsible manner is to choose the location wisely.
You don’t wish to destroy the environment more than it was already harmed. This means sticking to paved running paths or choosing to run indoors. When it comes to team sports like football or cricket, you and your mates shouldn’t choose a virgin meadow to serve as a provisional court. There are so many sporting facilities, especially in urban areas that there is no need to destroy the precious greenery. Furthermore, restrain yourself from using trees as goalposts and use artificial climbing walls instead of destroying a cliffside.
Another major problem with the world of today is the overuse of technology. Everybody wants to include their smartphones, speakers or tablets in the sporting activities as well. Well, you don’t have to. “Green” sports should be practices in an old-fashioned, low-tech manner. Playing loud music can scare off birds and hurt wildlife in general, so use headphones while running and restrain yourself from a musical halftime show. Going jogging or cycling without your smartphone to measure calories or speed will actually help you stay focused on the activity more.
Dress for the occasion
Another important aspect of the sport is the clothing you wear. This too can have an impact on the environment. Clothes manufacturing is a big business which means that producers of clothes want to cut down on costs as much as possible, often at the expense of the environment. You can help reverse this process by choosing to dress only in apparel that is made from recycled materials.
There are companies today that produce good-quality polyester running gear sourced from waste plastic salvaged from the ocean. From the socks all the way to the headband, you can dress in sporting apparel that is produced in an eco-friendly fashion. In fact, if you have running buddy so as not to get bored while running you can convince them too to dress for the occasion. This way, your decision to go green will have a wider social impact.
Helping the local economy
Whichever sport you take up, you are going to need an extra boost in the form of drinks and food. Choosing what to eat and drink can have an impact on the environment as well. Instead of purchasing a plastic bottle every time you go running, you could get one that is made from recycled material and use it several times over. Imagine if every runner did this what impact this would have on the global plastic industry!
As far as food is concerned, instead of shopping for extra proteins at large supermarket chains opt to support local producers. Shipping food is a big business that uses a lot of Earth’s resources, while locally grown produce costs Mother Earthless to put on shelves. Although you might spend an extra dollar here and there, in the end you will benefit from consuming food that is fresh and loaded with everything you need for a solid workout.
Park the car
Since few people have the luxury of living next to a sporting venue, many people actually drive to the location where they do sports. When you come to think of it, this is ludicrous because you can run, swim or run “green” all you want but turning the car engine has already made irreversible damage to the environment.
The aforementioned location for sports should be chosen in such a way that it doesn’t require you to drive to it. Instead, you can cycle or walk to the sporting venues. The ozone layer is already suffering enough because of all the car exhaust fumes, so needn’t add to this problem. Officials of many professional sports leagues are implementing measures to ensure teams travel less, thus decreasing the environmental impact left by professional sport.
As you have seen from the points made above, practising environmentally-friendly sports has a lot to do with your lifestyle. Basically, if you are eco-aware in your everyday activities, it shouldn’t be too had to adopt a “green” mindset when it comes to leisure time. This having said, we must commend your decision to introduce environment protection into your exercise routine because every green runner, swimmer or footballer more can make a tangible difference on a global scale.
Morgan Rose Elliott is an aromatherapist, yoga instructor, animal lover, a happily married mother of two. She enjoys reading biographies and writing poems, sunny days on the beach and any shape and form of vanilla. Crazy about the ’80s, her favorite band is Duran Duran and she is obsessed with Netflix original Stranger things.