Big changes needed to tackle a global issue
Being environmentally friendly was once considered nice but not completely necessary. However, like other parts of life, actively reducing your environmental impact is becoming the expected way to run a business.
Although big changes are needed to tackle this global issue, individual actions still make an important difference. And your club or organisation can have a powerful, positive influence on your members and local community, too.
To help inspire change, we’ve asked our LoveAdmin Community Groups and ambassadors for their tips on going green…
Simple ways to make your facilities more environmentally friendly
#1 Use local refill shops for products such as soap/washing up liquid/floor cleaners etc. Sourcing items from nearby suppliers will also help reduce your carbon footprint.
#2 Switch to natural, plant-based cleaning products instead of chemical-based ones.
#3 Look for suppliers who have green policies or are actively reducing their environmental impact. For example, use an energy company that supplies green energy.
#4 Check your light bulbs are energy efficient. If they’re not, replace them with greener alternatives like LED lighting.
#5 Switch off all equipment at the plug – don’t leave things on standby.
#6 Check if your space has loft and wall insulation.
#7 Move to a paperless admin system. A platform like LoveAdmin lets you manage important business functions like payments using a secure digital system. Learn more about LoveAdmin’s features here.
#8 In addition to the positive changes your business is making, you could consider schemes which aim to reduce your carbon footprint too. You could do this with a tree-planting scheme (there are many organisations out there that offer this so do some research first).
Re-use and recycle
#9 Check if your waste supplier recycles as well. If they do, provide different bins for different waste e.g. dry recycling/food/metal etc. Use labels or different coloured bins to make it obvious which one is which.
#10 Swap to biodegradable bin bags.
#11 If your organisation puts on performances, use costume hire companies rather than buying new items for one performance. Some companies, like Costume Source, strive for a neutral carbon footprint.
#13 Source secondhand furniture and equipment for your facility where possible, instead of buying new. This could also save you money.
#14 Take inspiration from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and source medals and trophies made from recycled materials (the 5,000 medals at the Olympics were all made using precious metals recovered from 6.2 million discarded mobile phones).
#15 Consider running a sports kit recycling scheme. Old kit can be a huge waste area for teams, especially if the athlete has simply outgrown the item and it’s still in good condition. Collecting and re-distributing old sports kit can give it a new lease of life.
#16 Reduce the use of single-use plastic where possible. You could also use recycled packaging in your club shop.
Encouraging your members to go green
#17 If your club has a café or hot drinks van, encourage the use of reusable cups by offering a discount when a customer brings their own.
#18 Promote cycling to your venue by providing a place to lock-up or store bikes.
#19 On the contact page on your website, add a ‘How to get to us’ section that includes walking and cycling directions, plus information about local public transport links.
#20 Encourage lift sharing. For example, before an event, send an email to members asking them to travel together where possible.
#21 If you don’t need to meet in person, reduce travel by using a video calling platform like Zoom, Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams. You could also do this for staff/volunteer meetings.
Bigger changes you could make
#22 Think about installing energy efficient heating, such as an air heat pump (although aimed at heating homes, the Energy Saving Trust has an in-depth guide to heat pumps on their website).
#23 Install electric car charging points in your car park.
#24 If you have club transportation like a mini-bus, look into swapping it for an electric vehicle instead.
#25 For swimming pool managers, look into using UV radiation as a secondary disinfection process alongside chlorine. It’s been found that it can reduce the chlorine residual levels necessary to keep the pool water healthy.
Hopefully you now have plenty of ideas for what you could do at your organisation to be more environmentally friendly. And although some of the more substantial changes may require investment, there is financial support out there. Many green loans and grants are provided by Local Authorities to businesses operating in their area. So if you’re considering a big project, contact your Local Authority first to see what’s available.
Our final tip – #26 – is to make yourself accountable by creating an Environmental Policy. Include goals and targets to help keep on track e.g. commit to replacing all light bulbs with energy efficient ones by the end of the year (see our article – Five effective ways to update your club policies – for more advice about policies).
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