It's seems like there is always time for tennis. While you are preparing for your next league match or just for fun keep these ideas handy to make your tennis game greener.
So here are my top five things that you can do to green your tennis game:
- Recycle those tennis balls - There are all kinds of ways to recycle tennis balls or what some might call upcycling. Give old balls to your coach. Give old balls to your kids. Give old balls to your dog, but did you know that there is a business in Arkansas (Yes, who knew?) called Rebounces? You can send them roughly 300 tennis balls at a time with free shipping and they will recycle them. They have a tiered system for recycling. Newer balls get re-pressurized and sold back to tennis facilities and coaches across the country. Slightly older balls get sent to schools and nursing homes to protect floors. The oldest balls get chipped and sold as a raw material to companies who use it in a variety ways. So check out www.rebounces.com.
- Carpool to matches - We all know Atlanta traffic is insane, so why not do our part to help reduce traffic? Carpooling for a match not only saves gas, and carbon emissions but also provides a perfect opportunity for last-minute strategic conversation. If you live in a swim & tennis neighborhood, consider bicycling to home matches. That gets you warmed up for the match, saves on parking, and also on gas. If you're just coming to support the team and are not playing that day there's even more reason for you to bicycle to the courts. You get your exercise in and work off all the food and drinks you partake of.
- Reduce as much disposable plastic as you can - When I first started Southeast Green, I became super aware of how much plastic any given match creates. If everyone who plays drinks one bottle of water and one bottle of sports drink that alone creates 40 plastic bottles. Then think about all the containers for the store-bought food and you are talking about a 90 gallon trashcan full of recyclables. Multiply that by the number of matches played on any given Thursday, Saturday or Sunday. It gets a bit overwhelming. Consider purchasing a team igloo and filling it with water and ice, or purchase two, the other for sports drinks (or maybe margaritas). Encourage all team members and heck even visiting team members to bring their own reusable bottle. That alone could make a huge difference.
- Donate your old racquet - When it's time for a new racquet, unless it's broken donate it to a nonprofit to resell or donate to your local tennis center to be used for an underprivileged tennis camp. It's that easy.
- Recycle old tennis clothes and shoes - If you're thinking who would want my old sweaty tennis shoes or clothes, think again. There are many nonprofits now collecting those items that clean and refurbish and send to other countries or recycle the materials another way. Many of the nonprofits can be found online but also look out for US Again donation bins which are located around Atlanta. Visit www.usagain.com/find-a-collection-bin to find the nearest drop-off point.
Most people do not realize that 80% of what we throw away can be recycled. Let's make sure that while we play our hearts out, we also think about recycling everything we can. It's a win-win for everyone!