Image Credit- The Green Optimistic
Whilst sport is hugely beneficial for both physical and mental health, some sporting activities can be harmful to the environment. Here’s a roundup of the Gryphon’s top six:
- Skydiving. Whilst this is a sport that people rarely participate in more than once or twice in their lifetime, skydiving means that each plane requires constant refuelling. In some countries there is an activity such as professional skydiving, and flying a plane itself takes a lot of energy, which means releasing a lot of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
- Football. Arguably the most popular sport in the world, at least certainly in the United Kingdom, people travel all over the globe to watch their famous football stars in action. This burns plenty of fossil fuels, alongside increasing the carbon dioxide produced weekly when the squad, reserves, medical staff and management team have to travel to their fixtures. This ties to the spectator wastage. Let’s take the largest stadium in the UK as an example, Wembley Stadium. If every spectator here left a cup, packet or wrapper, this would be over 90,000 items of rubbish in the stands alone, and less than half of it may not be recyclable. Therefore, with this being almost impossible to monitor, the wastage contributes to the damaging environment.
- Formula 1. The idea of 20 powerful cars going around a racetrack at a high speed for at least 20 times per year suggests this isn’t environmentally friendly. The drivers have to participate in practice sessions and test runs, never mind the actual race days. In addition, the environmental cost of shipping cars and the staff to maintain them too increases the output of pollution.
- Skiing. As the population of the world grows, it seems inevitable the more the environment feels the effects of pollution. The actual sport isn’t as dangerous for the environment, however the increase in demand for skiing holidays/ chalets has an impact. This correlates to the use of fossil fuels, which are being used to generate electricity for ski lifts. Perhaps the most alarming aspect is the fact that a ski lift uses the same amount of energy per month as a house would use in a year, thus making it non-sustainable.
- Golf. A sport that I admittedly didn’t initially consider, yet the construction and maintenance of golf courses is harmful to fragile ecosystems. With a survey being conducted that shows in Las Vegas alone, golf courses account for 28 of the top 100 water users, the worrying statistic shows golf as a sport need to rethink their water use, especially in times of drought. A slightly more specific figure shows that golf courses use 4 billion gallons of water every day for irrigation, (the application of controlled amounts of water to plants.) Perhaps a solution could be the industry introducing new types of grass, and new layouts that are easier on the environment.
- Boating. Similarly to golf, the environmental impacts of recreational boating shows that the main issue is the management of waste water. The sewage and grey water from the recreational craft contains a wide range of chemicals, often being released into the sea. Not only this, the increase in noise disturbance from the boats aggravates neighbouring areas, thus increasing noise pollution.