Climate change and tennis? What's the connection? You know that everything you do has some kind of impact on the environment. Even your tennis game has an effect. So here are some easy choices you can make to ensure that your tennis game is as "green" as possible.
1. Kick the plastic water bottle habit. That's right. Instead of drinking from plastic water bottles or disposable styrofoam cups at matches, bring your own reusable water bottles from home. Set the example and encourage others to do the same. And if your team is providing the water, make sure to use plastic bottles and recycle them. Avoid throw away cups at all costs!
2. Recycle your tennis balls AND tennis ball cans. We've talked about this one here at Tennis Fixation before: Recycling Tennis Balls and It's A Tennis Party! I've also found a great company that actually takes old tennis balls and "refurbishes" them into practically new tennis balls. Check them out at rebounces.com. There are plenty of ways to use those old tennis balls and cans. Make sure these things are happening at the matches in which you're playing.
3. Put your old tennis shoes to good use. You know its important that your tennis shoes be in good shape to keep you moving well out on the court. So what to do with those old shoes? Besides wearing them to garden in or to wash the car, consider giving them to Nike. Nike has developed a great recycling process for grinding up old shoes and using the resulting material in tracks, playgrounds and other athletic surfaces. Supposedly the foam midsole of your shoe can be ground up and used to surface a tennis court! Find out the details and see how you can participate at their website: www.nikereuseashoe.com. And find out if its time for new shoes by checking out this post: Quick Tennis Fix of the Day: New Shoes!).
4. Ride your bike to the courts! OK, I live in Houston and I'll admit, this would be a big challenge for me to undertake. But I did just get my bike tuned up. I did get a rack put on the back of it that I can bungee cord my ball hopper onto. And I have ridden down to my neighborhood courts with my son to hit some balls. I haven't yet taken a ride over to my club to play a match which is really pathetic on my part since my club is probably a less-than-15-minute bike ride away. I resolve to ride my bike to a match next week, however, and do my small part to have a positive impact on climate change.
© Kim Selzman 2009
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