People and Communities

Athletes for the Earth

Sports are feeling the heat from climate change.

Earth Day Networks Athletes for the Earth campaign works with athletes, stadiums, teams, organizations, and colleges to embrace green initiatives and promote environmental stewardship. Athletes for the Earth’s goal is to:

  • Harness voices of athletes to address climate change.
  • Illustrate the interaction of athletes with their environment.
  • Connect popular athletic activities with environmental stewardship.
  • Act as role models for young athletes to raise awareness about climate change.
  • Express athletes’ unique dependence on healthy climate conditions that allow them to compete.
  • Promote environmental stewardship through PSAs and public appearances.
  • Promote clean, plant-based eating as a platform to reduce the global carbon footprint of our diets, while enhancing athletic performance.

INTERSECTION OF SPORT AND CLIMATE

  • Athletes and Food:
    • A national football team went all vegan – made it to the playoffsthis diet is here to stay.
    • Athletes’ have huge lifestyle footprints and audiences – fans follow training and diet advice because athletes are the most fit of us all.
    • Climate change is making food less nutritious – athletes need to be at the top of their game and in full health to compete at the highest level.
    • Athletes packing on meat protein is an outdated model – better options exist for pros (and for an amateur).
  • Athletes and Environment:
    • Winter sports – By 2050 there will be 10-20% less days of quality snow across the globe – this alters athletes training regiments and ski resorts and revenue of winter sports.
    • U.S. Sports – High intensity training (especially football) requires controlled temperatures to prevent bodies from overheating. By 2050, projections of 30-50 additional days of practice that will need to be cancelled due to excessive heat. Pro players will get indoor stadiums – what about amateurs or youth sports? The health of our kids playing these sports is in jeopardy. Summer sports in the U.S. (specifically the South) are in peril!
  • Athletes and Youth:
    • Climate and food conditions will become more and more important for youth athletes. Fewer safe days to practice, and risk of more youth injuries or heat exhaustion – some sports may become inaccessible to those who can’t get indoor training space  .
    • Athletes are role models and can inspire kids to eat healthier, get active, and aspire to become players themselves.
    • Athletes who talk climate change and habitat degradation will help increase environmental literacy – one of the key takeaways from COP25 is more environmental education.

Become an athlete for the earth

sign up

Get your sports team or physical education class involved

menu of engagement