SPORT IN THE COUNTRYSIDE AND ITS ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Discover some of the main consequences of doing exercise in the great outdoors

#environmental sustainability #nature #sport

Hiking and other adventure sports like rafting and climbing in natural ecosystems are becoming more and more popular. Whether we are heading out to the mountains, a natural park or an untouched beach, we should bear in mind the environmental impact we have when we do exercise outdoors.

Practicing sports in natural ecosystems has an environmental impact.#RRSSPracticing sports in natural ecosystems has an environmental impact.

HUMANKIND'S ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

  • Loss of biodiversity. The 2016 Living Planet Index by WWF revealed that the world's population of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles dropped by 58% between 1970 and 2012 due to human activity. The Index also predicted the trends for 2020, anticipating a truly devastating scenario of a 67% decrease in just half a century (from 1970 to 2020).
  • Worse atmospheric quality. It is getting more and more common for people to drive to their sport destination, which entails an increase in carbon dioxide emissions and other contaminants. The World Health Organisation estimated that one in nine deaths around the world are linked to atmospheric contamination and poor atmospheric quality.
  • Impact on water. Doing engine-powered water sports usually involves spilling petrol into the water. One drop of petrol or fuel-oil pollutes over 25 m3 of water.
  • Waste generation. When spending a day in the countryside, we often take food and drinks from home. Failing to take our litter away with us has its consequences, as backed up by a 2016 report by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which estimates that by 2050 the oceans will contain more plastic than fish.

HOW CAN WE LESSEN THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF THESE ACTIVITIES?

There are certain things we can do to reduce our environmental impact, which includes:

  • Getting to our destination on public transport or by bicycle.
  • Not discarding waste. Waste should be collected and taken home.
  • Not damaging plants or disturbing animals.
  • Not making too much noise.
  • Not lighting fires.
  • Walking along specified footpaths.
  • Choosing reusable items such as flasks instead of plastic bottles.
  • Camping in designated areas only.

Tips to enjoy your country outings without leaving your footprint on the ecosystem.#RRSSTips to enjoy your country outings without leaving your footprint on the ecosystem.

 SEE INFOGRAPHIC: Tips to enjoy your country outings without leaving your footprint on the ecosystem [PDF]

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