Spoil Sports: 7 Activities that Damage the Environment


Photo via Four Seasons Safaris

4. Hunting and Blood Sports


We might catch some flak for this one, but let's just come out and say it: Hunting ain't green. In a perfect world, hunting would be not only be permissible, but completely sustainable as well. In our world, it threatens to throw off the balance of ecosystems and often puts a dent in already endangered species' populations. And when you have folks engaging in acts like aerial wolf hunting, it really makes you question the validity of the sport in general: Yes, there was a time when hunting was a necessary aspect of survival. For those of us living in rich, overconsuming societies, that time has passed.


Image via Wangjianshuo.com

5. Downhill Skiing/Snowboarding


Skiing is fantastic. So is snowboarding. But at the moment, the downhill variation is anything but green. Resorts are resource-consuming giants, people drive and/or fly from miles away to get to ski destinations, and the amount of gear that must be manufactured to support the industry is arguably one of the highest.

But skiing and snowboarding are also the sports most likely to be removed from this list-- resorts are making efforts to use renewable energy, carpooling initiatives are being implemented, and more skiers than ever are taking to the more sustainable back country. See these green ski destinations for some examples of good progress.


Image via Draglist

6. Drag Boat Racing (Motor Boat Racing)


Okay, so consider this the polar opposite of soccer. As opposed to a sport that's beloved by all and consumes resources incrementally and as a result of mass playing, here we have a sport that's beloved by almost no one, and attempts to make up for that fact by emitting nearly the same amount of carbon dioxide. Come on, drag boat racing? We didn't even know this existed until we started researching this piece. These boats exist only to zip off in a straight line, leaving a wake of carbon-rich exhaust behind them. Ridiculous.


Photo via Pendery.org

7. Aerobatics and Air Racing


Until the day comes when planes can fly entirely on sustainable biofuels I think we have our grand champion of wasteful competition here. What could be more resource intensive than competitively flying airplanes on a regular basis? We challenge you to find a less green sport than this.

More on Sports:
How to Go Green: Outdoor Sports
Green Power Sports Tour 2008
Hardcourt Bike Polo: A Clean Sport You Can Support
Green Sports : Washington Post Get On Board
Sixth World Conference on Sport and Environment
Players Not Spectators. Sports IIlustrated Does Green
The Action Sports Environmental Coalition

Tags: Airplanes | Air Pollution | Air Travel | Conservation | Consumerism | Driving | Pollution | Sports