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Global Green Guides: most harmful sports to the environment

The winter Olympics in Vancouver is in full-swing, and it’s no secret that during the festivities there are protests taking place across the city. Residents of Vancouver and global environmental advocates alike are voicing their opinions on how harmful the Olympics are on nature and finances.

Recently, Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics received a bronze medal ranking for reducing their environmental impact. While that is positive, the reality remains that many sports can take their toll.

Inspired by the Olympics, the Global Green Guide is counting down the most environmentally harmful sports.

1. Skydiving

Sky diving as a sport, or even as a one-time activity for thrill seekers, takes a toll on the environment because of the fuel used to get the plane up in the air for every jump. During a skydiving competition, the small planes used have to refuel on more than one occasion. Using planes for transportation or pilot training is one thing, but skydiving is avoidable.

2. NASCAR/ Car Racing

Like skydiving, NASCAR releases emissions into the atmosphere unnecessarily as cars go around the track time and time again at dangerously high speeds. It’s pretty self-explanatory why this is one bad sport for the environment!

3. Skiing and Snowboarding

Any environmental advocates who are reading that have been involved with the Olympic protests are sure to be nodding their heads in agreement with this one. We’ve been watching the world’s most elite athletes compete in skiing and snowboarding events over the past week, and have been impressed by the likes of Snowboarder Shaun White or downhill skier Lindsey Vonn. But, these sports have their own detrimental environmental effects, not all of them direct. Essentially it’s just the snow-making machines that can have a direct result. However, since ski hills and resorts aren’t always available in every community for winter sport enthusiasts, it’s the travel to these destinations that results in emissions output.

4. Hunting for Sport

The fact that hunting can be environmentally detrimental cannot be contested. Sure, unless you’re a vegetarian; you’ve got to eat. But many people who hunt aren’t doing so for survival, they’re hunting for sport. Loss of species can overturn the whole structure of the animal kingdom and affect natural resources as well.

5. Soccer

Soccer is one of the most widely played sports globally, and it requires construction of stands and stadiums to house the fans. Soccer stadiums are built in a process that degrades existing environmental habitats, and emissions are generated from the manufacturing process. Of course, transportation also comes into play as professional sports teams travel.

When it comes down to it, every sport takes some toll on the environment, whether it’s due to the construction of venues to play in, transportation to popular sporting events, or use of materials that aren’t sustainable for sporting equipment and clothing. Make smart choices and do what you can to help reduce your toll on the environment whether it’s in sport or in life.