IF YOU ARE AN ATHLETE THIS IS YOUR SPACE! HERE YOU CAN FIND TIPS AND IDEAS TO IMPROVE YOUR SUSTAINABILITY, AND KNOWLEDGE TO SHARE WITH OTHERS!
We know it is hard to achieve these goals and we want to give you ideas and tools to make these commitments easier for you. It is not about being the best, but to join strengths and knowledge and do our best for the planet. Here is a guide with ideas, suggestions and tips to achieve these goals. Share your ideas so others can adopt them. Together we can accelerate the pace to win this race.
Click the goals to find various sollutions:
GOAL 1: Reduce the travel to a maximum of 3 CO2e tons/year (measured in metric tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent).
Athlete’s biggest environmental footprint comes from traveling. Planning ahead to find the greenest transport to get to the destination and reducing the number of travels (specially international traveling) to the minimum, as well as finding solutions to avoid some of those journeys, will radically improve the athlete’s carbon footprint.
If your carbon footprint is already under 3 tons /year, well done! But remember that the 2050 goal is to have a maximum of 2,5 tons/year per person all emissions included (travel, housing power, alimentation, etc.)!
Calculate the footprint of your journeys:
- Plan your travels in advance in order to reduce their impact. Calculate their footprint ahead of time and look for the best transport means for each trip (train, shared car, bus…)
- Limit long distance travel.
- When traveling by plane, avoid short travels or multiple scales (landing and departure are where the fuel consumption is higher)
- If traveling far, stay longer.
- Avoid long travel for short training camps.
- If traveling by car, ensure that it is full with passengers.
- Use low carbon transport for your practice as much as possible: bike, public transports, electric vehicle…)
GOAL 2: Refuse to participate in activities with high carbon emissions for communication purposes.
- Refuse any filming with helicopter involvement or transporting filmmakers.
- Avoid working with photographers traveling from far away to do a shooting and prioritize local photographers and filmmakers.
- Avoid traveling far to do a shooting.
GOAL 3: Do carbon offset compensation of all travels.
Carbon compensation doesn’t take away the carbon emissions you have produced but it is a good way to realize how much we have contributed to the greenhouse effect and to support actions that are reducing its effects. Those actions can be planting trees, investing in renewable energies, clean water, sustainable agriculture…
- Calculate your carbon footprint – there are many online calculators, some listed below:
- Compensate the footprint by making a donation to an environmental initiative (most of the calculators have the option to compensate directly).
GOAL 4: Promote participation in local races and adventures.
- Participate in events and races that don’t involve extensive traveling.
- If possible, use public transportation (bus, train, etc.) to go to the events.
- Promote and advocate about local adventures and exploration instead of abroad travel.
- If training with partners, share the car.
- Promote local FKTs and challenges that make athletes find challenges with less traveling.
GOAL 5: Get politically active and advocate to the community.
- Fossil fuel industry has worked hard to move the focus of fighting climate change from institutions to individuals, but so much of climate change is coming from the system rather than individual emissions. Therefore, it is important to put the focus on having environmental legislation (get informed about your own local and national policies, candidates and platforms when there are elections, commit to vote and share your voting process to encourage others to do so as well).
- Talk to your community (friends, sponsors, organizers, federations…) about the importance of taking measures to fight climate change and preserve the environment.
- Challenge them to adopt environmentally friendly practices like the ones from this pledge.
- Tell your audience about environmental issues and solutions at least once per month (through social media, meetings, conferences…)
- Make your yearly carbon footprint public as well as the measures you take to reduce it.
- Connect with a local organisation working with connecting children to their wider outdoor environment. Encourage and support ways to get children in touch with nature.
- Get involved with communities and associations who promote a sustainable practice like ACTS , POW, Big Plastic Pledge, Extinction Rebellion, etc.
GOAL 6: Do at least one act of environmental or conservation work every year.
Volunteering environmental work means doing a non-profit action or work to help conserve and protect the environment. Those actions can be very different: cleaning a river or a glacier, planting trees, repairing a trail, carrying gear for scientific research, building an urban farm and a long et cetera.
- Ask the local race directors, the local associations or city councils. It might be that there is an ongoing conservation work in your village!
- Look for environmental foundations, NGOs or associations that are working in your area, they might need volunteers!
- Attend an environmentally focused camp or practice your favorite activity while doing environmental work, you can improve your performances at the same time you learn and take care of the land.
GOAL 7: Get informed and respect the local and seasonal restrictions where you practice your sport in order to minimize the environmental footprint.
Some areas might have access restrictions or practice recommendations for its preservation. Land erosion, protection of the species living there, or pollution risks.
In general, common sense will tell us what we can do or not; For instance, do not leave behind any trash, do not take or damage any flora, do not disturb other animals, do not destroy sensitive erosion areas… However, each region has its particularities that we might not be aware of. The ecosystems of each region are different and what applies for one might not apply to another, and vice versa.
Some of those restrictions might be seasonal, for example during the reproduction season for a specific bird. Or local, like a limited area with restricted access due to land erosion or high pollution risk.
How do I know?
- Ask! The municipality or regional authorities will know if there are some restrictions or recommendations to practice a sport in the wilderness areas. Police officers, national park rangers, forest agents or staff in information and visitors centers should be able to tell you if such restrictions exist. Many walls where we climb around the globe are home to different birds. During some periods, when fasting the babies, to climb there might disturb them and endanger their survival. Ask at the municipality, park or the local climbers which routes are restricted to climb.
- Educate! If you see someone not following the rules or recommendations tell him or her in a friendly way how to do it correctly and why. It might be very possible that in the region where they’re from the ecosystem is different and rules and recommendations are different as well.
Here you have a directory with regulations and recommendations in natural sites from around the world.
GOAL 8: Recycle, reuse, reduce and re-purpose the equipment.
- For sponsored athletes, reduce the product allocation received to the minimum required for your activities.
- Buy less, but better quality, and make it last.
- Avoid cleaning too much, it reduces product’s lifecycle and microfibers can be released into the water during the washing process. (Washing clothes contributes up to ⅔ of their environmental footprint.)
- Do a yearly checking of the closet to see what gear you aren’t really using. Give away, share or sell the one you’re not using.
- Repair your equipment instead of replacing. Here you can find some tips on how to do-it yourself or where to send it for repair.
- When the equipment is not usable anymore, dispose of it in the correct recycling bin. You can look if, in your village or city or perhaps in the nearest recycling center, you have some apparel specific disposal containers.
- Here you can find where to dispose of specific products for recycling.
- Upcycling or repurposing: Reuse your gear for a different purpose from what it was designed for (ex: climbing ropes to make a hammock…).
GOAL 9: Check the ecological footprint of the equipment you purchase and preferentially buy products that can be reused or recycled into new products.
When you’re buying a product you are also telling the companies what you want them to do. Your choice, i.e. purchase, is like a voting ballot that can be used to make them design and manufacture more sustainable products and be more ecological companies.
- Before purchasing a product, check if the manufacturer has a sustainability program. You will find this information on the brand website.
- Check if the product has its PCF (Product Carbon Footprint) marked.
- Buy products with none or little packaging.
- Don’t buy single use plastic products, instead opt for reusable bottles (metal, glass or plastic).
- Don’t buy products with toxic substances (fluor, some glues…)
- Look if the product can be recycled or disposed of in a specific place.
- When buying online, it is preferable to receive the products in hubs or post offices instead of your home.
- Buy equipment that has been made with the principles of “cradle to cradle” and not “cradle to grave”, i.e. that has a circular economy program to reuse all the materials after the lifecycle we use.
- If you buy cotton equipment, look if it’s made from bio cotton. Non-bio cotton needs a lot of water and pesticides and it’s difficult to recycle.
- Avoid polyester materials. Polyester comes from petrol, it recycles well, but it releases microfibers every time you wash it.
- To clean less the clothes, buy clothes with antibacterial treatments or do it yourself (i.e: https://polygiene.com/).
- Here a comprehensive article about microfiber pollution and how to minimize it.
- Buy equipment with eco-labels like BlueSign, GOTS, Fair Wear Foundation, etc.
GOAL 10: Adopt a climate friendly lifestyle.
How we eat, where we get the energy from, where we invest money… Almost everything we do has an ecological impact. Here you can find some tips on how to have a more sustainable lifestyle:
- food GHG emissions: https://ourworldindata.org/environmental-impacts-of-food
DO YOU HAVE MORE TIPS? LET EVERYONE KNOW!