Each year on April 22, “Earth Day” marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. More than 1 billion people now observe Earth Day each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. With golf being a sport that is enjoyed worldwide, there are many opportunities for golfers to help protect and preserve the environment. Here is a list of a few things that you can do next time you are out on the course.
Ways to Observe Earth Day
1. Reusable water bottles
Most golf courses will have water coolers and or fountains on the course where you can refill your water bottles. An estimated 200+ billion water bottles are used globally each year. Yeti cups and bottles are popular options that a lot of golfers and non-golfers are starting to use. So, next time you are heading to the course, bring your own water bottle with you to stay hydrated and reduce waste.
2. Pick up your broken tees
Everyone has gone up to the tee on a par 3 and looked for a broken tee to use for their tee ball. However, picking up a broken tee helps reduce wear on the equipment it takes to keep your local course trimmed. Mowing over tees takes a toll on the blade. When the blades on a mower start to wear down it takes more fuel and time to get the same results as when there is less wear.
3. Replace pitch marks and divots
As with #2 on this list, this tip helps reduce the amount of wear and tear on golf maintenance equipment. On a green, you can replace any pitch marks that your approach shot made. Also, while you are fixing your own mark, it’s helpful to fix any others that you see left from other golfers. While in the fairway, after your shot, always take a few seconds to replace your divot. This can be done by putting some sand in that most courses have on the cart. Using the piece of turf peeled up after the shot, placing it back in the divot, is the other option. This tip helps the environment by saving on gas and manpower to keep the course in prime condition.
4. Carpool to the golf course
Carpooling isn’t just for the school ride for kids anymore. Carpooling to the golf course helps the environment by cutting down the use of gas and reduce emissions. Also, you can get competitive, making the loser of your match drive to the course for the next round.
5. Walk instead of taking a cart
Whether your course uses gas or electric carts, it takes fuel and energy to keep them operating on daily basis. Next time you go out to play a round and you are capable of walking, put your clubs on your back or on a pull cart. There are many different carry bags and pull carts that make walking an enjoyable time. Also this tip will help get some exercise in, which can never be a bad thing!
6. Reduce food waste while on course
Next time that you are out playing and are looking for a snack, try eating a piece of fruit over a bag of chips. Generally speaking, the fruit helps fuel your round better than a bag of Fritos. It will also cut down on waste. After you eat a banana, apple or even a peach; you can throw the core and or peel right into the woods since it is biodegradable. (Who doesn’t love throwing things in the woods?!) If you do choose to get a bag of chips or a pack of crackers at the turn, make sure you keep your litter in a bin and not on the ground.
7. Use environmentally-friendly products
Look for green products such as tees, ball markers and even golf balls when purchasing. Often made from recycled materials, these products reduce waste in landfills. The more people who purchase Earth-considerate products also helps to lower the prices for such products.
8. Stay out of natural or designated areas
These areas are protected for a reason. They might be a feature to improve your experience, as a way to make the golf course more appealing and are sometimes a condition of the club’s license. Going in them for whatever reason can damage the vegetation beyond repair. You may also have a run-in a snake or alligator!
The majority of the work done to preserve golf courses is done by golf course superintendents and groundskeepers. However, golfers can also participate in the act of preserving the golf environment while playing. Thinking and acting environmentally before, during, and after playing goes a long way.