Posts tagged: environmentally friendly

Is enjoying the game more important than preserving it?

By Grassgroup, June 13, 2016 3:37 pm

“Paris floods: Seine level starts dropping after 30-year high.” “Northern Tasmania faces worst flooding in decades as storm heads south.” “Summer has begun but it’s colder than Christmas day.” These are all titles taken from papers in the past month showing how the weather has been behaving unexpectedly. With the weather being so unpredictable, it is difficult to deny both the effects of global warming and the continuing impact the human race has on the environment.

 

I recently read a rather interesting and thought provoking article published by the University of Connecticut: “Environmentally Sustainable Practices at Small Community Sports Facilities” by John Schumacher.

 

Ralph and Stubbs (2014, p1) say that, “the current state of the global natural environment constitutes one of the most urgent and significant challenges in recent history [and] the overwhelming view of scientists is that organisations, industries and government must adopt sustainable practices and commence mitigation again to prevent further degradation to decrease current greenhouse gas emissions and to prevent further increases in emissions in order to minimise these impacts.”

 

How, as an industry, can we change what we do in order to improve the environment? This should be a particularly poignant question for the industry we are in as we are all directly affected by global warming. As a groundsman there are different challenge faced with changing weather. Suppliers must innovate to find more environmentally friendly ways of serving our industry as ultimately, the changing weather can affect the seasonality and demand for the various sports we all serve. Albeit it not related to grass, the National Hockey League (NHL) in America released a sustainability report whereby Gary Bettman, commissioner, stated that, “[their] sport can trace its roots to frozen freshwater pond, to cold climates. Major environmental challenges, such as climate change and freshwater scarcity, affect opportunities for hockey players of all ages to learn and play the game outdoors.” This is evidence that climate change is happening and it is affecting the nature of our sport and will be directly affecting our industry.

 

So why is more not being done about it?

 

As stated by one of the interviewees, Richard in the University of Connecticut theses, “everything is budget, everything always comes back to budget [...] it all comes down to cost. So, you know, if it comes down to product made in America or not made in America, or made environmentally friendly or non-environmentally friendly… usually no one wants to look at that, they just want to know how much it costs and that’s what we have to go on.” Richard also goes on to point out that, “people care about what is happening to their tax bill right now” as opposed to in the future. Richard is correct to draw on this disparity between bills and the environment, whereby what we are only vested in is the ‘here and now’ and not the future. If we are prepared to pay sportsmen a hefty sum of money but we are not willing to invest environmentally in areas such as waste management, grounds care and office life than can we truly purport to defend the environment of which we serve? Our monetary priority should be as much about sport as it is about the environment. Indeed, protecting the game is as important as enjoying it. As an industry we should then, invest now in the environment whilst we still can, rather than in years to come when it’ll be too late.

 

Links to the above

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36451009

http://www.theguardian.com/weather/2016/jun/06/northern-tasmania-faces-worst-flooding-in-decades-as-storm-heads-south

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news.2016/06/02/summer-has-begun-but-its-colder-than-christmas-day/

http://ice.nhl.com/green/report/#buildingFuture

http://digitalcommons.uconn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2011&context+gs_theses


 

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Sustainability in Sport: BASIS

By Grassgroup, November 24, 2015 4:53 pm

On Thursday 19th November I made my way down to Lord’s Cricket Ground for the fifth annual British Association for Sustainable Sport, BASIS, conference. It was a very early start and I felt very “professional business woman” heading down to London on the commuter train!

It was a truly fascinating day finding out how various clubs and organisations/businesses have made the transition to become sustainable such as, Eight Ash Cricket club, Forest Green Rovers football club, and Lord’s Cricket club. The importance of going sustainable was really made clear when it was announced that 2015 was the hottest year on record.

The influence of sport and sporting stars on the attitudes of the general public cannot be ignored. The impact of sport on the public’s behaviour has been an interest of mine since studying a variant of this discussion at university. It is becoming clear that a bilateral approach is needed in order to bring the discussion of sustainability to the forefront. In the case of football, if the stadium were to become sustainable it could increase support but it could also educate. If people are exposed to sustainable practices on a regular basis, such as recycling, when attending the Stadium for example, these habits could then be replicated in the domestic dwelling. Another possibility is encouraging a sports player to promote sustainability, the issue is that the player may also move clubs, but they will still remain an idol. I believe a double ended approach could be the way forward to promote sustainability, not only in sport but generally. One quote stood out in particular, Dave Newport from Sustainable Sports in the US said, that if the environment was a bank we would have saved it by now.

The whole day made me conscious about my own efforts for sustainability but equally from those in a position of influential power. It made me realise how proud I am to promote an innovative product like the ATT INFiNiSystem. Its lithium battery not only releases no fumes, but it tackles health and safety issues by reducing noise and vibration and it is financially more viable than the standard engine pedestrian mowers.

The importance of sustainability is an issue that needs to be tackled now, for now, not just with future generations in mind. If we think about future generations we may have a tendency to delay appropriate and necessary actions.

I would like to thank BASIS for such an insightful day and look forward to attending next at the Olympic Park!

 

Emily

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