Keep a Low Water Score
Nearly 150 million Americans attend a baseball, basketball, hockey, or football game each year.
Team and stadium owners, as well as league officials, are getting wise to different ways to save while still providing a great experience for fans.
The National Football League has a green advisory committee to help it, among others things, stop water waste. The PGA of America teamed up with Audubon International to conserve water and encourage wildlife preservation. And Major League Baseball hooked up with the Natural Resources Defense Council to create sustainable stadium operations and team practices.
Water savings is a top priority for sports professionals and enthusiasts because water is so critical to game playing, whether its to keep the field green or the athletes hydrated.
Stadiums that typically use upwards of 40 million gallons of water a season are being built to reduce demand by 25 percent. Waterless urinals, synthetic turfs, and new parking lot medians reduce water consumptionand costs. The World Cup soccer organization and the International Olympic Committee have also set new environmental standards to cut water use and water waste.
An international water-saving effort is taking place. Still, many sports demand water in order to be played. There are those that require direct use, such as ice hockey, and those that require indirect use, such as golf. It may take 15,000 gallons of water to freeze a hockey rink, but the average golf course in the United States uses some 50 million gallons per year, and there are 23,000 courses in the country. In any event, you can easily see how water claims its place in the professional record books.
But we amateurs can play our parts, too. Here are some game changers.
- Swim in the center lane or middle of the pool to prevent excess splash. Splashing is one of the leading causes of pool water waste. If just one swimmer in every pool in the United States splashed just a half-cup of water, you could fill more than a dozen in-ground pools.
- It takes about 3.1 billion gallons of water a day to maintain golf courses in the United States. Play in the morning or early evening if you can so you arent treading on grass when its driest and most susceptible to being torn up. If possible, choose a course that has implemented water-conservation design and maintenance principles. (Lots have, and the United States Golf Association recommends it.) The type of grass you play on matters, too: Buffalo grass, Bermuda grass, salt grass, and other low-water-using turfgrasses can minimize water needs by 50 percent or more. The extra 1.5 billion or so gallons saved per day if every golf course implemented these measures could supply the entire global population that lacks freshwater.
- Try working out in the morning. People who exercise in the morning tend to be more likely to stick with their fitness habit than those who sweat later in the day. Besides, working out in the morning means you can skip that extra shower youd take in the evening aprs sweating, a savings of about 20 gallons. Ten percent of the population showers twice per day. Thats more than 600 billion gallons that could be saved every evening.