Tuesday, August 26, 2008

10 Easy Ways to Be More Sustainable During Soccer Season

It is soccer season (although this year for the first time one of my boys is playing fall baseball instead of soccer). The 6pm practices and games kill our dinner time. It's easy to fall into bad habits that lead to unsustainability when things get hectic. Here are ten easy ways to stay sustainable while you're trying to fit in soccer practice, homework and good environmentalism.
  1. Buy several reusable water bottles to take to practices and games.* Fill them with tap water. If you feel you must take sports drinks (I don't think it's very necessary for younger kids games) buy it in bigger containers and fill your bottles or buy the powdered mix and make it yourself.
  2. Ride your bikes or walk to the fields if it's possible.
  3. If you need to drive, carpool with other families in your neighborhood.
  4. Take healthy snacks of fresh fruits and homemade granola bars to avoid buying prepackaged, preservative filled, food dyed junk at the snack bar.
  5. Take home any bottles or cans you may end up using (or finding) at the fields to put in your own recycle bins if your fields don't have them.
  6. Refrain from running through the fast food drive-thru before or after your practice for dinner because "there is just no time." Sandwiches packed at home and taken to the field or eaten in the car on the way home are much better for you and the planet than a burger and fries. For a quick meal when you get home, try scrambled eggs, toast and fruit. It takes a little forethought and organization to stay away from the drive-thru, but it is well worth it.
  7. Buy your soccer balls and other necessary equipment from a second hand sports shop.
  8. If last year's stuff fits, use it again. Kids are unlikely to outgrow shin guards and soccer socks in one year. 
  9. Every once in a while, have your kids and their buddies walk around and clean up trash around the fields.
  10. For a sustainable family, say "no" when needed - like when the coach calls for an extra practice that will put your family's schedule over the edge or interfere with a planned family outing. Do not allow kids' activities to take over the family.
See. Easy.

*Write your family name on your bottles and at the end of each practice/game make sure each person has remembered to take it from the field. They aren't so sustainable if you have to keep replacing them.

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