Environmental Impact of Fencing Tournaments

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by teacup, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. teacup

    teacup Podium

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    Everyone who has ever stayed to the end of a fencing tournament has looked upon a venue littered with single use plastic bottles. Many of which still have liquids in them, which makes them unable to be recycled. And as many of us now know, only 7% of plastic is recycled, even if put in a recycle bin.

    Add to that the huge carbon footprint made by all the air and car travel to events, and fencing doesn't appear to be a very environmentally friendly sport.

    Please read these two articles about the London Marathon and what the UK is doing to reduce its environmental impact. Perhaps USA Fencing and tournament participants could take similar actions or at least realize the impact of their actions.

    https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/04/26/...-bottles/index.html?__twitter_impression=true

    https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48064102
     
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  2. HalfBlue

    HalfBlue Made the Cut

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    I bring my own non-disposable water bottle, and refill it as needed at the venue. Easy.

    Now Gatorade, that's a different story....
     
  3. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    I see more and more people using those little packets of electrolyte mix to make their own Gatorade. Of course if you want plain water as well you'd need to have 2 bottles.
     
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  4. Gav

    Gav is a Verified Fencing ExpertGav Moderator!!

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    They could be doing a LOT more. Getting something simple like bottle deposit implemented is fraught because industry lobbyists are actively fighting it. Don't be fooled into thinking we're a bastion of environmental awareness we're VERY far away from that.

    And btw bottle deposit schemes were common when I was a kid.

    If you're coming to visit the UK take some pointers: DO NOT buy bottles of water. We have modern sanitation and water systems. The stuff from the tap is good (although I'll concede if you're in a hard water location it may not taste the best). If you're visiting Scotland (in particular) don't buy bottles of water at all. We have some of the best quality of water in the entire country. I see a lot of tourists in Edinburgh and I have noticed a significant proportion of US tourists buying bottles of water. Why? I have no idea. The Scottish government is currently doing a program of adverts and reducing plastic bottle sales in the countryside. Many shops are out in the wilds are starting to advertise that you can fill your own bottle there instead. Do that.
     
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  5. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    As one, it falls into one of these three (IMO).
    a) Pop into a store to get 'something' and there is a bottle of water back there. Pick that up to drink.
    b) Don't have to carry a large water bottle around, nor pack it. Toss it into recycle when done.
    c) Trust sanitation and taste to be consistent. Don't have to worry about cleaning a reusable bottle.
    My wife and I will usually buy a bottle of water at the start of they day, refill it as the day goes on and recycle the bottle at the end.
     
  6. Gav

    Gav is a Verified Fencing ExpertGav Moderator!!

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    Re: B you do know that the amount of waste generated by buying bottles of water is very real problem? That most of US recycling is no longer recyled? Basically because "China says no".

    Do you also realise how daft these three points are?
    (sorry this read like a direct attack it's a generic "You")

    I'm not pussy footing around on this, if that's the 3 reasons take a long hard look at yourselves.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/03/china-has-stopped-accepting-our-trash/584131/
    https://news.nationalgeographic.com...cycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment/

    etc etc etc

    Don't come to my country and buy bottles of water.
    Thanks.
     
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  7. Gav

    Gav is a Verified Fencing ExpertGav Moderator!!

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    My guys take 2 bottles with them to tournaments for this reason. Yes they do carry 2 bottles.
     
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  8. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    It wasn't this way until about a year ago. It'll take a while for people to get into new habits. And some communities are re-directing their recycle to in-country plants, which took time to stand-up.
    Also, it's not the best solution, but at least half of the the stuff from Philly isn't going into a landfill: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/16/business/local-recycling-costs.html
    No worries. I'm telling you how I see it when we're out on our vacations. I agree the amount of waste is amazing which is why we try to keep the same bottle for the day.

    Good luck with that.
     
  9. ReadyFence

    ReadyFence Podium

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    I agree with jkormann, this is exactly the behavior and thought process of most US tourists, especially those who don’t travel extensively.

    And if you’re going to start in on how daft Americans are, their water bottle habit is waaaaaaaaaaaay down the list of objectionable traits.
     
  10. Gav

    Gav is a Verified Fencing ExpertGav Moderator!!

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    I live in Edinburgh. I know.

    It is but one of a long long list, but that doesn't mean that awful behaviour shouldn't be challenged.

    Bottled water should be removed from sale.

    There it's been said.
     
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  11. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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  12. teacup

    teacup Podium

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    If a deposit (tax/fee), is to be applied, it needs to be applied to ALL single use plastic products. However, the companies that use and produce plastic for storage and packaging of their products should pay a clean up fee for the plastic waste. If those fees are passed onto the consumers, companies that use alternatives to plastic may become cheaper than plastic products. Monetary consequences may be the only way to curb plastic use and production.
     
  13. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    But if you do, be sure to hide it from the locals. Conceal your bottle in a plastic bag and drink from it with a plastic straw.
     
  14. ReadyFence

    ReadyFence Podium

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    Every time we are in Rome, we see American tourists so conflicted by the idea of filling a bottle from a public fountain (of which there are hundreds, with amazing water). They literally can't do it and will instead buy liter bottles of water every day. Ugh. Then again, bottled water is very cheap in Europe so that contributes to the problem.
     
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  15. teacup

    teacup Podium

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    There is no assurance that bottled water is better than tap water.
    https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/about/live-healthy/tap-water-vs-bottled-water

    Besides being bad for one's health, smoking rates have declined due to high taxes, banning smoking in public places and becoming socially frowned upon. As more people become aware of the horrors of plastic waste, using single use plastic bottles, straws, utensils, containers, etc, will no longer be socially acceptable.

    To its credit, USA Fencing does provide water stations, so there is no excuse for participants not to use refillable bottles.
     
  16. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    I will say that venues are VERY inconsistent with replenishing water stations, so it's an often a mixed bag when using a refillable bottle. Often refilling water bottles from a water station involves holding your bottle/spigot with one hand and tilting the water container with another. Catering at the venues really needs to get on board with the idea of refilling bottles.

    With that said, I use a reusable water bottle at events, even to the point of re-using bottles of water that we purchased in the past, sanitize and then refilled.
     
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  17. teacup

    teacup Podium

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    With all due respect, I don't quite understand your logic. If you are going to carry around a water bottle and refill it during the day, why can't you take an empty small refillable bottle with you when you travel and use that instead of buying a plastic bottle or two every day?
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  18. HalfBlue

    HalfBlue Made the Cut

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  19. teacup

    teacup Podium

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    Americans carrying water bottles everywhere is a relatively new development. Previously, people drank from drinking fountains and water glasses.

    It is also possible for athletes to drink too much water.
    https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/26/for-athletes-the-risk-of-too-much-water/

    The bottom line is before you purchase or take when offered anything made from plastic, take a second to think if you really need it. And if the answer is no save your money or politely decline.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
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  20. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    Because we're American?
    Non-flip answer, my wife will do that until the bottle is totally trashed. She's usually kinder to the bottle than I am, because at the end of the day the thin plastic has been crunched so much it tends to spring a leak.
     

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