Environmental consciousness is no longer only the responsibility of a select few industries. Because the environment affects all of us, we all have a responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint, and that includes sports organizations. Even if you’re not organizing festival-scale events at large sporting arenas, small events can add up in terms of waste, litter, and emissions produced.
Interpodia has committed to being a net zero company by 2023, which means that we will completely offset the amount of emissions we produce by implementing eco-friendly policies and investing in green technology. We share this mission with our partners, so here are some ways to make your sporting events more eco-friendly.
Use Compost, Recycle, and Trash Bins
The leading cause of litter, especially at outdoor events, is the lack of adequate disposal bins. Place enough trash, compost, and recycle bins throughout the venue so that participants can properly dispose of waste. Also keep track of bins that overfill and have staff replace them accordingly. Making sure people know where to dispose of bottles, cans, napkins, food waste, and other trash will make the post-event cleanup process that much easier for your staff.
Use Compostable/Bulk Items
At events that serve food, using compostable (or recyclable) utensils and containers is another way to reduce your carbon footprint. Whenever possible, serve items like condiments in bulk rather than in individually wrapped packages. After the event, make sure recyclable and compostable waste is sent to the proper facilities for processing.
Implement an Environmental Offsetting Program
Your event can also promote a carbon offsetting program that either donates to local environmental charities or plants trees. For example, Trees Not Tees works with sporting event organizers to plant trees instead of giving participants free T-shirts, which they rarely ever wear. Alternatively, you can set up donation booths where participants can donate to eco-friendly nonprofits.
Not everyone wants a free event T-shirt. Yes, event mementos are good for marketing, but not if they just get discarded to a drawer and then a landfill.
The registration processes can be set up to ask registrants to have the choice between an event memento/ T-shirt etc or to pass on the T-shirt and receive either a $5 discount or better still, pay it forward and make it a $5 donation to the partner charity.
Instead of giving out printed flyers and plastic water bottles, promote your event with sustainable materials. This can mean advertising on social media and distributing electronic maps instead of printing these materials on paper. You can also give out reusable tumblers, bottles, and tote bags as promotional items.
Partner with Local Businesses
Partnering with local vendors will not only strengthen your relationships with businesses in your area, but it’s also better for the environment. Introducing participants to local food and other products will reduce transportation emissions from both businesses and consumers, and keeping money in the community has a positive ripple effect extending way beyond the event.
Promote Public/Sustainable Transport
If possible, provide shuttle services for fans. Or, you can provide bus routes and bike racks to encourage sustainable transport to and from your event. If more participants use public transport or bike instead of drive, together you can greatly reduce carbon emissions.
Taking Environmental Responsibility
Rethinking the small and large details of your event will go a long way towards reducing your organization’s carbon footprint. More ways to make your event more eco-friendly include making volunteer shirts out of bamboo rather than cotton, offering organic food and drink products, using eco-friendly cleaners, choosing venues that implement sustainable policies, and using electric vehicles for athletes and staff. Together we can lead the way to sustainable sports and protect our planet.
Contact Interpodia to learn more about our sustainability efforts or how you can make your sport organization more environmentally friendly.