The 2018 world cup has started! If you are a football fan, or just like big competitions – now is the time to enjoy the unique atmosphere of world cups.
While major sports events are very entertaining to watch, they also generate a huge amount of waste: supporter goodies, snacks wrappers, plastic bottles…which is unfortunately not always recycled. For example, the world cup in Brazil generated more than 1,500 tonnes of non-recyclable waste! If this year FIFA tried to make an effort and installed sorting bins in every stadium in Russia, the impact of big competitions on the environment can’t be ignored.
So what can you do to support your favourite team while remaining eco-friendly? Today, TerraCycle gives you some easy tips to be a sustainable supporter and help the planet while watching football games!
Get sustainable refreshments
Football games often go with barbecue or pizza night. Whether you watch a game at home with some friends or go to the stadium or a “fan zone” to be with other supporters, drinks and snacks are almost mandatory, but they often generate a lot of waste.
If you are hosting a football barbecue at home, we have already given you some tips on how to throw an eco-friendly party, where you can find inspiration for a delicious zero waste menu. If you don’t have time to make your own food, don’t forget that you can recycle your crisp bags and other plastic packaging with TerraCycle, through our Zero Waste Boxes for Crisp Bags, Snack Packaging and Sweet Wrappers or for Plastic packaging.
At a stadium or in a “fan zone”, your drinks will unfortunately often be served in plastic cups. If you have several drinks during the game, and so does everyone else in the stadium, the amount of plastic generated in just a few hours is huge. An easy tip to avoid unnecessary waste is to bring your own reusable cup. Lots of companies sell durable ones such as Greentones which offers tableware sets made of bamboo fibres.
After a great game with your friends where hopefully your favourite team won, remember to pick up empty bottles, cans and your waste to put it in the appropriate recycling bin! Leaving the park or stadium as you found it is more pleasant to people coming after you and to the cleaning staff.
Make your own supporter goodies
We agree that it is important to support and cheer for your favourite team but supporter goodies such as foam fingers, flags, glasses or inflatable celebratory sticks are often made of single use materials such as plastic. Furthermore, chances are that after the FIFA world cup you will not use them again before the next big football event.
To support your team while helping our planet, you can upcycle materials to make your own personalised football accessories. That’s what the TerraCycle team did and we teach you how to make your own supporter flag in our DIY video.
Spread the word
Remember that every occasion can be an opportunity to raise awareness amongst your community. If you host a football barbecue with your friends, why not share a few tips with them before the game kicks off? To challenge your friends, you could also organise a fun quiz around Football & sustainability based on the one edie.net did for their readers.
If you are watching a game in a stadium, and want to go a step further, why not follow the example of some of the Senegalese and Japanese fans, who decided to stay behind to help clean up the stands after the game? You could help recycle more waste, while going viral on social media!
Be a sustainable sports player
If watching all those football games makes you feel that you want to exercise as well, no need to worry, you can be active and save the planet at the same time!
For those of you who like running, they can get into plogging, a sport invented by some eco friendly Swedish people. The concept is pretty straight forward: you go for a run and pick up waste at the same time. In addition to being great for the environment, plogging is an amazing workout since you have to constantly bend, squat, and carry some waste all around while you are running.
If you are already very sporty, why not take part in a plastic free competition? For example, this year the Pickwell foundation is organising the Croyde Ocean Triathlon, in Devon, the first plastic free event in the UK. Knowing that a competition like the London Marathon can generate 750,000 plastic bottles, along with numerous energy gel pouches or energy bars wrappers, plastic free competitions should definitely be encouraged.
Finally, sports accessories are essentials but can sometimes be tricky to recycle or reuse when they have been used too many times. If you don’t know what to do with them, TerraCycle can help! For example, we can recycle your football, tennis balls or athletic balls with the Zero Waste Box for Athletic balls or we would be happy to receive your old sneakers through the Zero Waste Box for shoes and footwear.
We hope this advice will be useful, and that you are now ready to support your favourite team while helping the planet! If you have more tips on how to be an eco-friendly supporter, please share them with us, we would love to hear from you!