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6 Worst Sports for the Environment


160HModern life is hard. Without exercise, health suffers, but what do you do if your favorite physical activity hurts the environment as well?

Luckily, most of these sports are only harmful at the professional level, or in places where lots of people are participating at once. The following six sports are some of the most harmful to the environment:

1. Skydiving

SkydivingSkydiving doesn’t at first seem like it would cause a large problem. It’s the kind of activity that people do once every couple years, rather than every day. However, there is such a thing as professional, competitive skydiving, and each plane requires constant refueling. If it’s something that you enjoy, consider base-jumping, which is more sustainable, instead.


2. Soccer

soccerOne of the most popular sports in the world, so the players are constantly traveling around the globe, burning plenty of fossil fuels along the way. Backyard pick-up games are still fine, though.




nascarThis entry shouldn’t be too surprising. Not only do the cars themselves emit pollution, but the events draw large crowds of people that also drive.


4. Skiing and Snowboarding

skiingAlthough skiing is one of the best sports in the world (I may be biased), resorts are often difficult to get to and a lot of material and energy goes into making gear. Luckily, many resorts are switching over to renewable energy, so soon skiiers will be able to indulge guilt-free.


5. Drag Boat Racing

drag-boat-racingDrag boat racing enthusiasts may be few and far between, but surprisingly, there are specialty boats designed just for this purpose. They also happen to emit a lot of pollution in order to achieve maximum speed.

6. Golf

golfOne of the most beloved sports out there, this might be a tough pill to swallow for some. Golf courses use 4 billion gallons of water every day, though, and their gaining popularity means that more of them are being built every day. It may be time to give up the “green”, so to speak.

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  1. You are way off with your swipe at soccer. Yes, all the billions of people who follow it have a massive carbon footprint collectively, but per capita it’s wonderfully green. All you need is one ball and a couple of jumpers for the goal posts!

    Surely you should include horse riding though – quite apart from all the equine methane they produce, the land the horses need means that we, as a species, end up encroaching upon areas of natural environment in order to grow food that could have been grown in horse paddocks.

  2. I can understand the issue with skydiving and the use of planes, but recommending BASE jumping instead, is not an appropriate suggestion. BASE is extremely dangerous and requires hundreds of skydives before it is remotely safe to try. People should not try BASE jumping without the appropriate training and skydiving experience. To do so would most likely have dire consequences.


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