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10 Ways to Be a Greener Athlete

Apr 21, 2008

Taking care of the earth is everybody's responsibility, even us athletes! The Kidzworld Coach lists 10 things we can do for our planet!

  • #10. Recycle Your Shoes - Just because your shoes don't fit any more or have holes in them, doesn't mean you should throw them in the trash. Nike has a Reuse-a-Shoe program where you can give your shoe to any Nike store or mail them to the company's recycling center. The materials will be used to make surfaces for tennis courts, basketball courts, running tracks and playgrounds.
  • #9. Donate Old Equipment - Instead of throwing out your old pads, balls, rackets or anything - minus your jock strap - see if you can donate them to somebody that can use it. Give it to a used sporting goods store, the Salvation Army or your local church.
  • #8. Carpool or Public Transportation - The less cars on the road, the better our air quality. So next time you have a far away game, catch a ride with your friend's parents or pick up a few of your teammates when your 'rents drive. Also, if the bus is a practical and safe option, take it to practices and games!
  • #7. Recycle Bottles - As athletes, we know how much water and Gatorade we consume when we are playing sports. Try to take your own water to practice in a resuable bottle. If your drinks come in an aluminum can or plastic bottle make sure not to throw it away in the garbage, but recycle it instead. Some recycling places pay you a nickel for every can, so you can make some extra dough just by doing what's good for the planet!
  • #6. Shower Faster - I know we all like to take long and hot showers (especially after games), but it is not good to waste water. Try to shower in under five minutes. Sound impossible? It's not. People in the military get only three minutes, so you can do it in five!
  • #5. Compost Snack Scraps - Trashing food is bad for the environment because it fills up landfills. Take your apple cores, leftover carrot sticks, or any other organic waste back to your home or school's compost bin. If you don't finish your food, put it in the fridge then heat it up later!
  • #4. Walk - I know we said earlier to carpool or take the bus, but if it is possible, walk or jog to your practice or game. This way no fossil fuels are being burned and you are getting a good workout in. That's killing two birds with one stone!
  • #3. Buy Recycled Gear - We told you in the past that Steve Nash's shoe is made from 100 percent recycled goods. If you buy sports equipment or shoes, try to buy ones that are made or partially made from earth-friendly materials and recycled goods!
  • #2. Wash Clothes Less - Washing your clothes takes up a lot of water and energy so try to re-use your clothes and uniform as much as possible before washing them. Instead of washing your uniform after every game, try to wait a few games before washing it. When you do wash, make sure it is in cold water and in a full load. If the weather is nice, hang your laundry in the sun to dry rather than throwing it in the dryer.
  • #1. Limit Your Motor Sports - Try to cut back on sports that require motors like go karts, motocross, wakeboarding and snowmobiling. Sure they are fun, but they do burn fossil fuels. Instead of wake boarding go kayaking and instead of snowmobiling go cross country skiing! Not only is it better for the environment, it's better for you!
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