Tips for Hosting an Eco-Friendly Sporting Event (part 1)

Although there are various models, approaches, and certification systems, the most important elements of an eco-friendly event are reducing carbon emissions and energy use, conserving water, minimizing waste headed to a landfill and maximizing recycling opportunities, building a positive legacy within the community, providing access to all, and supporting local businesses.

So, what does an eco-friendly sporting event look like? How does it work? Let’s consider the following tips for hosting an eco-friendly sporting event.

Green Basics: A Little League tournament or a local high-school football game are great ways to begin cultivating new sustainable options and discovering local green resources. There are a lot of simple things that sports planners can do to produce more eco-friendly events. The first step is to call for agreement from your board, organization, and/or stakeholders so that your efforts are supported by the overall event management system.

Rethink Waste: Find effective ways to reduce or eliminate plastic, paper, and packaging waste. One of the easiest ways with the greatestt impact is to default to double-sided printing and use recycled paper in printers and copiers as much as possible. You can go further by opting to replace programs, flyers, and paper tickets with social media, Web sites, electronic ticketing, and even mobile applications. Choose recycled or biodegradable materials for items such as lanyards, T-shirts, and food service-ware. Provide water stations for fans to serve condiments in bulk and fill reusable water bottles in order to reduce individual packaging waste. Place clearly marked recycling bins in easily visible and convenient locations throughout the sports venue.

Reduce Emissions: Transportation and energy use are the two major sources of greenhouse gas emissions for most sporting events. Utilities across the country can be approached as a sustainable sponsor and offer renewable power options for customers. In addition to dercreasing overall carbon emissions, utilizing mass transit can help reduce local traffic congestion. Use low-carbon fuels like biodiesel, hybrid, ethanol, or all electric vehicles whenever possible. Moreover, offering corral parking or bike valet also encourages more bicycling to the event.