Environmental Impact of Fencing Tournaments

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

  1. Privateer

    Privateer Podium

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    the bid packet, i'm pretty sure, has water stations or water fountains as bullet points. Maybe they should just ask vendors to not sell water in bottles. I know for many people, taste is why they drink bottled water. With filtered bottle fill stations becoming more common, it's only a matter of time before disposable water bottles go away. Old people like us remember what it was like to drink out of the metal-tasting fountain at school, or heaven forbid the garden hose. Young people have no reference.

    My guess is, bottled water is very profitable for the vendor so they'll keep selling them until people stop buying them. As individuals we can speed this transition by not buying them, and encouraging our peers to not buy them.
     
  2. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    The biggest environmental footprint fencing has is the amount of travel we engage in. If US Fencing was worried about our environmental footprint per fencer (which I seriously doubt they are), they could try to structure fencing so that fewer young kids and non-elite fencers felt the need to fly across the country to fence, and instead had competition opportunities nearer home. That alone would dwarf stuff like water bottles, as much as I personally dislike disposable water bottles.
     
  3. Privateer

    Privateer Podium

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    couple of us were having a similar discussion the other day. the attendance of our 3W Opens have been steadily declining, altho they've leveled off somewhat. The leading theory is the RYC/SYC/RJCC/et al have replaced the local open as the place for local competitive fencers to compete. Now they all drive/fly off to some place, and mostly fence the same people, with some exceptions. And honestly, a lot of those kids probably shouldn't be flying all over, possibly missing school, to be in tournaments for a sport they'll probably quit in a couple years.
     
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  4. teacup

    teacup Podium

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    Yes, totally agree which is why I added air and car travel to tournaments.

    Designating two instead of three cadet European Circuit events and not awarding such a disproportional amount of national points for placement at these events might help.
     
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  5. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    The bottled water usually is tap water. Maybe they run it through a filter, but it's still tap water. If you want that, or if you are unsure about the quality of water in strange foreign countries ( or Michigan ), get a Sawyer Mini filter or a Lifestraw or something and Bob's your uncle.
     
  6. ReadyFence

    ReadyFence Podium

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    I disagree on this one, if only from a Team USA point of view. We hope to field teams at Worlds every year (at every level) that have a chance at the medals, and a fencer's results against those opponents should count for more than his or her results at NACs. Just my opinion, not terribly popular :)
     
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  7. mfp

    mfp Podium

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  8. teacup

    teacup Podium

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    Okay designate three, but add a strength factor using EFC rankings and have only one group of points. Reduce to 10 or fewer fencers. But none of that will happen.
    Encourage reusable bottles and ban single use plastic.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
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  9. Privateer

    Privateer Podium

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    it seems like it wouldn't be much of a problem to get some corporate sponsor to put their name on something and pass one out to each competitor.
     
  10. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    Cool. Fencers could put those reusable bottles the same place they put the USFA logo water bottles that were handed out to each NAC competitor for several years.
     
  11. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    Well, those WERE pretty useless, though I still have mine. I think they held like....a cup of water?

    It is part of the bid packet if I recall, but the specification for how the water station is kept isn't very detailed. I find that most vendors aren't very responsible about keeping the water supply replenished unless someone is on them about it.
     
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  12. ifencegud

    ifencegud Made the Cut

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    Hi, this is my $0.02 on the water bottle situation --

    1. IMO, bottled water does have its place in society. Think of hurricanes or other disasters, or places where public water supply contamination is more of an issue than bottled water health problems. Also, it's not unthinkably expensive; according to the IBWA, it's like $1.11/gallon. on average. It is available at almost any store, even in poorer places.

    2. Bottled water was also supported by some parents way back when when it was first introduced because glass bottles kept cutting their kids (dark). Some parents also support it now because it's easier to replace bottles if they're cheap plastic than reusable. This may not apply to everyone, but kids and forgetful adults make up a big percentage of the population.

    3. Glass and aluminum are very energy-inefficient to recycle. Not saying plastic isn't, but it's not a 100% fair comparison. Yes, plastic does leach chemicals into the environment and is hazardous. It is, however, rather low-cost to make, which is not as true for, say, glass. Take all the energy being used for transport and melting and whatever else they do.

    4. New kinds of plastics are being made that are biodegradable and environmentally friendly.

    Plastic is horrid for the environment, but it's good to consider some other points.
     
  13. teacup

    teacup Podium

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    While sometimes there is a place for the use of plastic bottles, the problem is that many people assume that tap water is unsafe and bottled water is better. If one suggests to someone to drink tap water, a look of horror crosses the person's face, as the mere thought of drinking tap water is unthinkable.

    Most tap water is regulated while bottled water, less so. And the regulations, in regard to water safety in Europe and many first world countries, are even more stringent than in the US. Who knows where most bottled water comes from?

    I grew up in a time when people drank tap water and used water fountains. People did not walk everywhere carrying single use drinking vessels. Yet, I don't remember people dropping from dehydration, even while doing sports.

    So many of the gatorade and water bottles laying on the floor after a tournament are half full or more. Which means fencers really don't need so much fluid or they can't keep track of their things. Maybe sharpies should be more readily available for people to write their names on their bottles. (People should pick up after themselves, but that's another thread.)

    During disasters, why are small 12 oz bottles of water are given out, why not larger bottles?
     
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  14. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    I honestly don't know any of these people. I come from Chicago where tap water is plenty drinkable and many people drink it freely. I prefer to drink filtered water since Chicago tap has chlorine and other impurities that effect taste, but I'm happy to rinse and spit with Chicago tap or drink from a fountain. At my grandma's house where she has well water, the water won't hurt you but it tastes terrible due to the high iron content. Bottled water is a must although we mostly use gallon jugs and then drink from glasses or refillable bottles. In college now, I was guilty of using bottled water for a few semesters when I lived near a store, but that was so I could keep them in the fridge to have nice and cold. The tap water where I am isn't very cold, especially in warmer months, and doesn't taste perfect. I did always recycle, and I did feel bad about the whole operation.

    Some idiots last year sold "natural" unpurified water and then people got sick so I'm with you here.

    Before the mostly made up 8 glasses a day thing.

    I think this is mostly the result of people being forgetful. There's a lot of moving around in fencing, from strip to strip and pod to pod. Also store-bought water bottles look similar so when there's confusion and which belongs to whom, the default is to toss it. You're right that people should grab a sharpie. I typically just tear off the logo to distinguish my bottle. This forgetfulness is also why people prefer plastic over reusable. Just today I left my reusable bottle at a tournament, which a teammate then found and took for me.

    I tried finding an article on this but all I found was industry propaganda from water, bottled water, and plastics industry groups espousing the need for bottled water during emergencies. Lobbying is a drain on society, I'll tell you that much.
     
  15. Black Widow

    Black Widow Made the Cut

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    I make electrolyte mix and put it into a quart thermal bottle to keep it cold. I live near a middle school and after an athletic event there are water and Gatorade bottles everywhere. I thought the new generation was eco-minded?
     
  16. teacup

    teacup Podium

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    Besides the waste, I don’t understand why people don’t pick up their garbage.
     
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  17. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Because people suck.
     
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  18. ReadyFence

    ReadyFence Podium

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  19. ifencegud

    ifencegud Made the Cut

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    The new generation has some loud people....SOME loud people. To me, it feels like its a 10-50-20-20 split of far left, left, moderate left and conservative. Significantly more leftists. The eco thing is popular but not executed too well, but they all are educated on the topic, some just choose not to act.

    To be fair, they’re not the only ones. There are loads of soccer moms who bring juice boxes but not a lot who bring trash bins.

    I think maybe there should be a limit on how much water one person can get at a tourney. People tend to value things more when they have less. Maybe it’s an awful idea, though. *Karen*: WHAT DO YOU mEAn MY pReCIous TiMtIM CANT HAVE ANY MORE WATER? HE NEEDS sIXtY-foUR anD THreE QuARteRs OZ OF WATER A DAY OR HE WILL FALL OVER AND DIE OF MISERY AND I WILL SUE YOU BECAUSE WE NEED THIS LIQUID MORE THAN YOU MONEYGRUBBIN’ SWASHBUCKLIN’ POINTYPOKERS!
     
  20. ReadyFence

    ReadyFence Podium

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    I think that’s a bad idea. Personally I don’t drink much water, even when I’m exercising or competing. But I have friends who dehydrate very quickly and it can cause them real problems. So no, you don’t get to decide how much water I drink at a tournament.

    And I’m not sure what your political breakdown has to do with anything, but we all appreciate the effort.
     
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