The green movement has impacted industries like fashion, food and package design, but the sports industry is hardly seen as being pro-active when it comes to environmental issues. In fact, major sporting events and venues are notorious for being guzzlers of energy and giant producers of waste and pollution. However, from tracks to slopes, it seems we’re on the brink of change. Always on the cutting edge, TrendCentral takes a look at some of these changes:
Electric Vehicle Races: Race cars are known to produce plumes of exhaust fumes, but these ozone killers could soon be replaced by the hushed purr of electric vehicles. Launching its inaugural season this year, the EV Cup will race only zero-emission electric cars, becoming the world’s first “green” motor-racing series. Two principal race series boast distinct classes of vehicles—the City EV class, in which drivers will compete in carbon-free, race-prepared, THINK City cars; and the Sports EV class, which will feature teams racing 185-KPH Westfield iRacers. A third category, the Prototype EV class, will showcase the latest non-production electric vehicles in a time-trial format. One question remains: will the hot dogs served at the concession stand be made from grass-fed beef?
Eco-Friendly Stadium: Fans may be anticipating Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick’s appearance on Oprah this week, but backing his redemption isn’t the only way the team is earning good graces lately, as owner Jeffrey Lurie is transforming Lincoln Financial Field into the first major U.S. sports facility to be self-sufficient on renewable fuel. With completion anticipated by next season’s NFL opener, the project includes 80 wind turbines fixed along the stadium’s upper rim; 2,500 solar panels attached to an overhang and facade; and a 7.6-megawatt biodiesel-reliant power plant in the parking lot. Already, almost all materials used at the stadium can be recycled or repurposed. Even the beer cups, made of corn-based plastic, go into a compost pile. Go green, indeed.
And this might be our favorite new trend:
Carbon-Neutral Ski Holiday: If Alpine Pearls, a new organization promoting sustainable tourism in the Alps has its way, it may be leading the next wave of eco trends. Part of the AP alliance, Austrian ski town Werfenweng is at the forefront of this new approach to winter vacations. One of only two places in the Alps to offer carbon-neutral holidays, Werfenweng’s soft mobility (a.k.a., Sanfte Mobilität, or SAMO) program encourages tourists to relinquish their cars in exchange for a network of transportation alternatives. A branded SAMO card offers access to a shared local taxi service, buses that connect to nearby mountains, and use of equipment for cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, and tobogganing—all for free.
Winter and action sports athletes have always been on the forefront of eco-issues so would be nice to see some other resorts and businesses that cater to this crowd get on board.
For those interested in sports and environmental sustainability, the International Olympic Committee, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Qatar Olympic Committee, is holding the 9th World Conference on Sport and the Environment from 30 April to 1 May 2011 in Doha, Qatar. Under the theme of “Playing for a Greener Future”, the Conference will assess the environmental success stories of the Olympic Movement; reflect on future challenges; and explore new opportunities of mainstreaming the environment in the world of sport.