Many of us are more aware of the damage our daily lives are doing to the planet, and there is no shortage of experts warning that our lifestyles aren’t sustainable. The ever-increasing demand for next day delivery from online shoppers. Sure, we want that new buy as quickly as possible but rarely give a second thought to the process of getting your goods from a factory to your doorstep in less than 24 hours.
What about our eating habits? It has been known for some time now that modern farming methods are damaging to the environment, air quality and wildlife. Fast food isn’t just unhealthy for those of us who consume it, but the industry puts a heavy burden on mother nature. We already know these facts, but will we heed those warnings or carry on regardless. Fast food, next day deliveries, world travel, farming. They all come at a great cost to our future as a species.
One aspect of your life you may not give a second thought to when trying to be eco-friendly is sports. Yes, playing sports and being involved in sports is great for our physical and mental health. Tennis, golf and basketball all improve our quality of life. Soccer is no different with the game played by millions worldwide, gambled on at sportsbooks like betus and watched by a growing fan base.
The beautiful game can get ugly
But what about soccer’s impact on the environment? The top teams travel across the world to play in competitions. They sign players from every continent, and fans travel over land and see to cheer on their favourite teams and players. Thousands of consumers create waste at a stadium, including food wrappers, paper programmes and drink bottles. It doesn’t paint the beautiful game in a good light. But one club is determined to do things differently. They are eager to buck the trend and make their club more eco-friendly and sustainable.
Who is this brave, forward-thinking club with a love for our planet and an understanding of the damage professional sport does to the environment? Surely it’s Manchester United, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich? Is it Glasgow Rangers or Bayern Munich? The eco-warriors aren’t a big name of the business, but they are determined to make a big impact and show the bigger clubs how it’s done. The club is lowly Forest Green Rovers, playing in the lower leagues of English football but with ambitions of not only helping to change their beloved sport but change the world for the better.
Even if you are a huge fan of soccer, Forest Green Rovers aren’t a household name. You’d be forgiven for wondering who they are and where they come from. They may sound eco-friendly with a name like Forest Green, but the club’s owners must be admired for trying to live up to that name. How do they plan to do that? Can such a little club make any kind of impact on the global stage?
The green stadium
Visitors to England planning to mix an interest in sports with the United Kingdom won’t have a visit to Forest Green Rovers’ stadium too high on their to-do list, but they should reconsider. The New Lawn isn’t the most striking sports venue you’ll ever see, but this arena that holds just over 5000 spectators is one of the most green you’ll ever come across. The Gloucestershire stadium has the world’s first organic playing field, and solar panels help power the stadium on matchdays. Looking for even more? You’ve got it.
Forest Green Rovers recycle all rainwater that falls on the pitch while every bit of waste cooking oil is recycled as biofuel. The grass is cut using a solar-powered MowBot, which uses GPS to guide it around the pitch, removing the need for human control. Just to make you love this club more, the players are vegan, and the grass cuttings from the pitch are distributed to local farmers to condition their soil.
Rovers were the first British club to go meat-free. Outside of the stadium, you’ll find a habitat for wildlife, including wildflowers and native trees. If you’re looking for a soccer club to support, Forest Green Rovers are always looking for new fans.