Environment in football: What you can do as a fan

Following the COP26 summit in Glasgow recently, much has been made of the impact that football fans have on the environment, and what we can be doing on matchdays to limit our carbon footprint.

Here are five things you can change on matchdays to be more environmentally friendly

  1. Use Public Transport:

Although this is relatively commonplace for a few fans already, there are still those that drive to the game, particularly away games. One of the practises suggested has been to take the train to the game, or make use of the transport put on my the club in the form of a team coach, rather than using fuel and extending carbon emissions by driving the long distance.

Taking the car to a game has been found to produce 171g of emissions per passenger per Kilogram, the most of any transport, although domestic flights can end up producing secondary emissions of 254 grams.

The train, a supporters’ coach and the Eurostar produce the least emissions, with a combined total of just 74 grams of emissions produced per passenger per kilometre, making these ideal choices, particularly on those away days.


  1. Use Paperless Tickets:

More and more clubs are now beginning to use paperless tickets up and down the footballing pyramid. An environmental scheme launched by the EFL in October of 2021 has aided the 72 clubs in the three divisions to produce E-Tickets instead of sending paper tickets and providing them at the game. Furthermore, if you would like to buy a paper ticket or a programme, be sure to re-use it or recycle it rather than throwing it straight in the bin.

According to a study, British households produce an average of 26 million tons of waste every year, while it takes 24 trees to make a tonne of paper – this are damming facts that should galvanise football fans to go to online tickets.


  1. Change your matchday eating habits:

Beef and lamb have been found to have the worst impact on the environment, with the production of beef leading to 15 KG of greenhouse emissions per serving, which has led to suggestions of vegan food at games, or going for a different meat option such as lamb or pork.

Furthermore, drinking beer from the tap tends to produce less emissions than bottles and cans. And if the club offers re-usable plastic cups, then that’s a bonus.


  1. Use the on-site recycling:

Most clubs will provide recyclable containers with food and drink, so be sure to use the most of it by placing these containers into the recycling bins around the stadium, and don’t leave any rubbish on the floor.


  1. Avoid buying new shirts

If you’re going to buy new shirts every season, make sure you’re actually going to wear it. Ordering shirts online leads to emissions via shipping, and manufacturing shirts is a taxing business for the environment, so don’t buy too many!


What are clubs doing?

Well, to start, Forest Green have a strict policy of serving only vegan food to fans and players, while Plymouth Argyle installed 8 billion pound solar panels onto their Mayflower stand, saving money for the club and reducing their Carbon Emissions. We spoke to Charlie Price, and you can find the interview right here! ⬇️

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