Are Electric Cars Bad for the Environment?

I have been a very vocal proponent of electric cars. I’m all ABOUT that energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, so I’m often surprised by the blowback I receive when I talk about EVs. I think that’s because there’s A LOT of misinformation going around.

And, where is a lot of this misinformation coming from? *cough cough* Oil companies *cough cough*

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Before we dive into this blog post, I want to address two things upfront.

1. “EVs aren’t perfect!” You are correct, and I’m not saying they are.

2. You shouldn’t be advocating for ANY personal vehicles You should only promote public transportation! If we lived in a world with amazing, safe, and easily accessible public transit - by all means YES! But we don’t.

I absolutely advocate for a world full of public transit. I 100% support legislation to make that become a reality, but that doesn’t change the fact I’m still very PRO electric vehicles.

I’m from Arkansas. Where I grew up, the closest thing to me was a gas station five miles away. Our cities weren’t designed for public transit, they were designed for cars. And, we can argue how unfair that is until we’re blue in the face. But, the fact is, until efficient public transit is available, people are going to be using cars and I would much rather those be EVs than gas guzzlers.

So, let’s bust some myths!

lithium_tar_sands_meme.jpg

lithium mining is destroying the planet:

You might have seen the photo above circling the internet. The top half is supposedly a lithium mine, but that photo is actually a copper mine.

The bottom half of the picture is leaving out a few details like the fact wells are being drilled under the surface 400 feet deep.

And, how often do you hear people talk about the environmental impact of copper? Probably, not very often.

There are four different types of mining: underground, open surface/pit (what we refer to as strip-mining), placer, and in-situ mining.

Strip mining is one of the most destructive types of mines. The copper mine featured above is a perfect example! “The mines destroy landscapes, forests and wildlife habitats at the site of the mine when trees, plants, and topsoil are cleared from the mining area. This, in turn, leads to soil erosion and destruction of agricultural land. When rain washes the loosened top soil into streams, sediments pollute waterways.” (source)

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Metals and elements like aluminum, steel, gold, zinc, copper, lead, etc. etc are mined.

So, why do people like me often endorse products containing metals like stainless steel tiffins and aluminum cans over plastic water bottles? Because metals are infinitely recyclable without any loss of quality. Metals are also valuable, so many of the products we buy contain recycled material.

You might notice, lithium didn’t even make the list. Most lithium isn’t actually mined, sure, there are some hard rock deposits of lithium, but the majority of lithium comes from brine.

Lithium is obtained from salty lakes and is recovered using natural evaporation. Workers will use pans to sift the lithium and then let the water evaporate which also leaves behind magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium.

Lithium is not only used in car batteries it’s also used for laptops, cellphones, air crafts, ceramics, glass, medicine, etc. etc. Basically lithium has a lot of uses beyond just electric cars, and the very vocal opponents of lithium only have ONE problem against it… when it comes to electric vehicles.

So, maybe we should consider the smear campaign on lithium is just…. a smear campaign?

Lithium deposits being harvested from the lake

Lithium deposits being harvested from the lake

cobalt is ruining my day:

Cobalt has been called the “blood diamonds of batteries.” Cobalt, like the other metals mentioned earlier are strip mined, but the real tragedy of cobalt is the human rights violations that often come along with it. There’s a long history of child mining, associated with production of cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

This is horrible, but electric cars are not the only technology using cobalt. Your computer, phone, tablet, etc. all of it uses cobalt. We should absolutely be outraged by these tragedies, but why do people only seem to be outraged when it comes to electric cars?

I’m not trying to make excuses, but this is one of my pet peeves. You can absolutely be outraged by cobalt, but be outraged by ALL cobalt, not just when it fits into your narrative.

All that being said, great strides are being taken to remove cobalt from all of our devices! In the Tesla 3, less than 3% of the lithium ion battery was made using cobalt, with a goal of removing cobalt altogether within the next year.

Panasonic one of the largest makers of lithium-ion batteries said they’re developing batteries that don’t need cobalt at all with many manufacturers following suit.

“Companies like Apple and Samsung have joined the Responsible Cobalt Initiative, pledging to address the worst environmental and social consequences of the supply chain. And lately, Apple has started buying cobalt directly from miners to make sure the suppliers reach their workplace standards.” (source)

So, hopefully you can feel a little better about industry trends working to remove cobalt.

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my cities grid isn’t powered by renewables:

The IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute study is often cited when trying to prove that EVs are just as bad for the environment as diesel vehicles. Want to take a guess as to who’s pushing these studies?

If you said the Koch Brothers, you would be correct! You can read more about that here and a dismantling of the study here.

Ideally, we’d all be charging our electric cars with our solar powered homes with our solar powered batteries, but that’s just not a reality for most of us. I rent and have no place to charge an electric car or install solar panels.

Of course, there are still a lot of things I can do to lower my footprint, check out my blog post on 8 Ways to Lower Your Footprint at Your Apartment.

So, is buying an electric vehicle worse if you’re still going to be using non-renewable energy from the city grid to charge it? Nope, and for a few reasons.

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1. the energy transition is happening rapidly!

This is one thing that just makes me super excited! We’re seeing many, many cities, states, and countries declaring climate emergencies and pledging 100% renewable energy by 2020, 2030, 2040, and even carbon neutrality by 2050.

The capacity for renewable energy is almost unlimited. Insurance companies are refusing to insure dirty energy and utility companies that use more 30% coal. Banks, investors and pensions are also being divested from dirty energy and it’s only a matter of time before the bulk of all energy is made up from renewables.

Solar and wind energy is also the cheapest! In fact, it is actually more expensive to maintain an existing coal mine than it is to build a new solar farm.

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2. EVs are way more efficient.

Even if your city is using a lot of dirty energy, EVs are MUCH more efficient than gasoline powered vehicles. So, even if you EV is charged with coal, the overall net emissions will be lower because the EV motors are more efficient.

Brian Feldman, a robotics expert has got some math for you math wizards. “Consider the Tesla Model S, which has an available 85 kWh battery and a 265 mile range. Consider a similar gas-powered car, which gets 35 mpg. Gasoline contains about 33 kWh of energy per gallon. The Tesla uses 320 Wh/mile of energy (85 kWh/265 miles). The gas powered car uses 940 Wh/mile of energy (33 kWh/35 miles). Once the energy is on board (not counting the efficiency of the power generation, oil refining, or charging), the Tesla is using only about a third as much energy as the comparable gasoline-powered car.”

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battery disposal:

Most of the batteries used in electric cars are not only recyclable but reusable! If we’re looking at older technology the lead-acid batteries, 96% of the materials can be recovered. Before we even get to recycling, the batteries can be recharged and reused.

When it comes to lithium-ion batteries, things get even better. Once they’re no longer holding their original charge in the vehicle they still have a lot of storage. These older or secondhand batteries are used to aid the grid! The batteries are used to store power to maintain renewable energy sources. How cool is that!?

And, once it’s finally, finally time to recycle them most all of the components can be reclaimed.

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what about secondhand?

I think, if you can find a secondhand hybrid or EV, that’s awesome!

I also think buying a firsthand electric car is great too. Why? Because it’s important to show demand in the market. It’s the same reason why I shop secondhand but also buy from sustainable and ethical designers. I want to support progress in the industry.

Do whatever works for you and know that you’re making a good choice.

but you drive a honda!

Yep. I totally do. I have a 13 yr. old Honda that I don’t plan on selling or upgrading anytime soon.

I get gas maybe, maybe once a month. I don’t drive very often and take public transit as much as possible. I’ve had my car for so long, that I don’t see any reason to get rid of it or to “upgrade”.

When the time comes for me to get a new car, you can bet I will be getting an electric! I’m pro firsthand and secondhand. I’m pro both plug-ins and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. I'm not super picky, I just want to lessen my dependence on the fossil fuel industry.

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Microplastics: What Are They and What Can We Do About Them?

Microplastics - I like to think they’re the buzzword of the year. Which would probably be grossly inaccurate, but I do think recognition of this problem is picking up steam after several damning studies have been released.

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What studies, you ask?

the problem with plastic:

There’s a lot to process up there. Plastic has currently found its way through the food chain. Without any long term studies, we really don’t know what this is doing to our bodies.

Plastic is a known endocrine disruptor, often masquerading as estrogen in the body, which interferes with our hormones/bodies communication system.

Synthetic estrogens are known to cause problems like obesity, cancer, and infertility. You can read more in this study.

Beyond plastic’s hormone interfering properties, another study was released where plastic acts as a sponge for bacteria.

“Some laboratory studies have found that microplastics can interfere with feeding, digestion, and reproduction in several aquatic species.

“While microplastics may physically harm organisms, there’s also concern that they could leach chemicals such as plasticizers, UV stabilizers, flame retardants, and colorants. In addition to what’s in them, microplastics have also been found to attract pesticides and other toxic chemicals in water.

“Mason says her team has found environmental contaminants that are known carcinogens, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), in higher concentrations in plastic particles relative to the water.” Read More

Check out this blog post on the problem with plastic.

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what’s a microplastic?

A microplastic is an extremely small piece of plastic on average 3mm-5mm. Some plastics are born microplastics and others become microplastics.

See, plastic doesn’t ever go away. Plastic won’t biodegrade. It won’t turn back into soil. Instead, over time, it becomes brittle and it breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces until it’s so small it’s a microplastic or nanoplastic.

But, some plastic starts out already small like glitter and microbeads. Some of the other prevalent forms of microplastics are tires and microfibers from clothing.

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glitter:

Yep, glitter is plastic. Glitter face masks, sunscreens, festival makeup looks…. this is all plastic. When you go to wash all of that glitter off of your body, it goes straight down the drain and into the water ways. Because, glitter is so small, it can’t be filtered out making it’s way out to the ocean.

SOLUTION:

First, ask yourself if you really need to use glitter? I’m not sure I’ve every been in a situation, where I just HAD to use glitter. But, they do make biodegradable glitter which is made from cellulose so it breaks down very quickly once you was it off. This one donates portions of the sales to Greenpeace International.

microbeads:

Microbeads have mostly been ban. In large part, it would be pretty difficult to find products with microbeads in them now, but they were a major contributor to microplastics in the ocean.

I was surprised to learn the first state to ban microbeads was Illinois back in 2014. In 2017 a ban passed at the federal level adding the US to a long list of countries that have banned the bead. Read More

SOLUTION:

Opt for microbead free products which should be very easy, since most products aren’t manufactured with them anymore.

tires:

Now, this one absolutely shocked me. I was attending the Sustainability Forum at the Phoenix Open when Dr. Leyla Acaroglu an industrial designer and sociologist dropped this piece of knowledge that tires are the number one source of microplastic pollution in the ocean.

According the the Guardian, “68,000 tonnes of microplastics from tyre tread abrasion are generated in the UK every year, with between 7,000 and 19,000 tonnes entering surface waters.”

Our tires go bald due to the friction of driving. As they go bald, they lose tiny bits of tires which are left on the roadways which eventually make their way to the storm drains which lead out to the sea.

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SOLUTION:

This one is so tough. Driving less is the best solution. But, even if you’re taking public busses or biking there’s still a problem with tires shedding microplastic pieces. It’s probably time for the tire to get a makeover… which it has. Michelin has just introduced a biodegradeable and 3-D printed tire that would last forever. Let’s hope this becomes a reality!

microfibers:

Lastly, microfibers which are shed into the water ways every time we wash our synthetic clothing like polyester, acrylic, and fleece.

It’s becoming more and more popular to create clothing out of recycled plastic water bottles which results in microfiber pollution in the waterways.

A study by Plymouth University found that a single load of clothes could release up to 700,000 microplastic particles.

SOLUTION:

This is a multi-pronged solution.

1) Wash Less: When it comes to washing your clothes try to stretch washes. Just because you’ve worn something once doesn’t make it dirty. If my clothes don’t smell, then I wear them… until they do smell. And, only then do I put them in the washing machine.

2) Air it out: A great way to extend the life of your clothes is let them air out. After I’ve worn a shirt, I like to turn it inside out and spray it with this mixture, and hang it up in the open air like on the door frame of the closet

I don’t shove the piece back into my closet, I give it room to breath so air can circulate all around it.

3) Opt for Natural Fibers: When I’m shopping, I try to buy clothing made from natural fibers. It can be really hard since spandex is in almost everything, but I’m looking for at least 90% natural fibers when I check the tags on clothing.

For me, I just can’t stand synthetics on my skin. I’ve found that polyester and acrylic fabrics, which are plastic, aren’t breathable. They’re not able to regulate body temperature well.

These types of fabrics don’t keep you very warm in the winter and they can’t keep you cool in the summer. They make you sweat more and ultimately have to do more laundry - my LEAST favorite thing.

When you’re shopping look for natural fibers. Here’s a list of non-plastic fibers. Most of these fabrics have pros and cons. If you’re interested in a whole blog post about each of the fabrics I can do that, but for the sake of not making this a novel, I’m just going to list them.

I’m sure I’m missing a few, so please let me know in the comments section.

  • Cotton

  • Wool

  • Silk

  • Hemp

  • Linen

  • Rayon

  • Viscose

  • Bamboo

  • Lyocell (Tencel)

  • Modal

  • Cupro

4) Take Preventative Measures:

I do not have a 100% plastic-free wardrobe. Especially when it comes to undies and workout gear. Check out this post to learn more about sustainable and ethical work out clothing. I speak a bit about the polyester conundrum when it comes to work out clothing.

In this case, I try to take preventative measures by using something to catch the microfibers. There are several different options like the guppyfriend or a microfiber ball.

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q&a:

I recently sourced questions from my Instagram stories on microplastics and I’m going to do my best to answer them and give you some solutions on ways that you can help reduce your contribution to microplastics.

what about shoes made from recycled plastic water bottles?

I definitely don’t have as much of a problem with items that aren’t going to be put through the washing machine over and over again. I personally don’t love the idea of wearing plastic shoes though. I’m not sayihng I’d never wear a pair.

But, I’d be afraid they’d make your feet sweat and stink. Did you know poly actually makes sweat stink more? You can read about it here.

can you tell just by looking at a fabric if it’s poly or going to cause microplastic pollution?

Not normally, it can be really tricky, so I just to be safe always check the label. Acrylic and fleece jackets are two of the worst offenders so those are the two items I’d avoid at all costs.

what natural fibers do you go for and what are your fav stores to get them from?

If I’m buying secondhand, I don’t particularly care what the fabric is as long as it’s on the list above. If I’m shopping first hand, I opt for tencel (a zero waste fabric!), modal, silk, and ethical wool. I also look for non-toxic dyes. Amour Vert is one of my favorite shops (big surprise, right?) because I feel really confident about whatever I buy there being non-toxic and sustainable.

I will work on a full blog post all about this though.

What should I do with old clothes that I’ve stopped wearing because they aren’t made of natural fibers?

There’s not much you can do with them. They’re not very valuable, and it’s not really possible to turn them into other products at this time. But, that could be changing. A company in Hong Kong just found a way to infinitely recycle polyester so we’ll see!

What about undergarments?

I wrote a whole blog post about ethical and sustainable underwear brands for you to check out.

Swim suit alternatives?

This falls in the same category as workout gear. It’s pretty much unavoidable, but typically we don’t put swimsuits through rough spincycles in our washing machines.

I haven’t found any data on hand washing vs. washing machines, but I believe the crux of the problem lies with the washing machine. While I’m sure microfibers shed from hand washing, I don’t think it would be as extreme as it is with machine washing.

Organic cotton vs. conventional?

If I’m buying first hand, I always try to opt for organic cotton. You can read more in this post: All Your Questions About Eco-Friendly Cotton Answered


I hope this article has provided a little bit of insight about microplastics, microfibers, and ways that you can tackle the problem.

Of course, I can’t let you go without saying you should contact your representative about this issue! Send them an email, fax, or give them a call. This is a super hard subject to tackle. Is it possible that we see polyester, acrylic, or fleece banned from the market place? What about non-biodegradable glitter? Maybe all washers should come with microplastic filters on the machines?

I’m not entirely sure, what solutions could help prevent the problem even more, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to let your representative know that it’s a subject you feel passionate about.

Is Golf Sustainable?

As many of you know, I took a break for the holidays. I took 15 WHOLE days off!

I was completely unplugged (minus my GPS) and it was amazing. I felt inspired, rejuvenated and had time to work on some of my hobbies.

To be honest, I kind of forgot I had hobbies, but taking this break helped me remember!

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Growing up, I was an all-state golfer. My dad is still mad that I turned down golf scholarships to pursue theatre instead.

Things were a little bit different back then, but a lot of women’s golf scholarships were available, so my family got me into golf at a young age hoping I’d get a scholarship. It helped, that I was pretty good at the game. I actually played on the boys golf team in middle school because I was the only girl that played in the whole school!

It was the only sport I actually enjoyed participating in, probably because it involved a lot of walking outside which is still one of my favorite past times.

When I close my eyes to think of a happy place, I just remember the most beautiful scene from Hickory Creek where I used to play in high school.

It was like something out of a dream. It was so warm, the sun was setting, everything was golden glowing and the trees and greenery were so thick I thought I was in Narnia.

Some of my happiest memories spending time with my dad and friends happened on a golf course.

I thought about picking up my clubs again, but golf courses get a bad rep in sustainability.

I was curious about it after reading this great post on making tennis more eco-friendly and thought, maybe I should do a similar analysis for golf.

And, while I will get into some of those specifics later, I’m really curious about the courses themselves.

Most of the courses I played were very heavily wooded, so there’s lots of trees to absorb carbon, but I started wondering about other aspects of the course, and wondering if they’re really as bad as people say they are?

A problem I have with any movement, is that everything becomes black and white too quickly not allowing for nuance.

Very little in life is just black and white. So, much of what we experience is gray. And, with everything, I’m sure there are very eco-friendly golf courses and very un-eco friendly golf courses.

I don’t think it’s productive to write off an entire sport. Instead, I hope that we’ll appreciate the gray.

I’ve decided to go ahead and round up some of the most common issues and try to address them head on.

land use:

There are several issues environmentalists take with golf, one of them being land use. “All land use has an impact on the environment — the trick is to minimize damage and, where possible, enhance natural values,” from the book Distant Greens by Paul Sochaczewski.

Further, “Golf courses provide green breathing spaces in a concrete landscape and the well-managed turf has many valuable service values — soil protection, water filtering, pollution fixation and biodiversity conservation. A well-managed golf course can provide more environmental benefits than a poorly managed nature reserve,” he adds.

In the book, Guidelines for Maximizing Biodiversity on Golf Courses, John MacKinnon, a prominent scientist and field biologist argues that “golf and environment can easily develop side by side and golf courses can serve as miniature nature reserves.”

University of Arizona researcher Matt Goode, “There was a time when I would never have considered golf courses as anything but a disaster,” Goode says now he has changed his mind.

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“From a wildlife perspective, golf courses hold promise. If done right, they represent a more compatible land use for wildlife… The more species we can save, the better our chances to preserve biodiversity. That's why golf courses are important.”

He later goes into more detail of what type of animals are drawn to golf course and how proper management is facilitating their habitats like owls, snakes, birds, bees, butterflies, and amphibians. (read more)

Audubon International has created a certification that helps golf courses protect the environment and preserve the natural heritage of the game with currently over 29% of all courses in the US as members.

While the land use often get’s a bad rep there are many positive aspects as well. Golf courses can act as watersheds for urban areas, in especially dry areas the lakes can serve as irrigation for the course but also neighboring villages, serve as mini-nature reserves, and act buffer zones between town areas and national parks.

water management:

I’m not sure which one is the biggest complaint, water use or land use? Either way they’re both up there. Golf courses are notoriously thirsty. After all, to keep the greens, green - it has to take a lot of water.

But, I started wondering about other sporting arenas? Football field and baseball fields have to be watered, mowed, and kept green too - but no one ever talks about them… it seems golf courses are the only ones people have a problem with.

Of course golf courses are much larger swaths of grass compared to a football and baseball arena, but they don’t have all of the concrete and same arena type settings.

As a bonus, all of the food I’ve ever eaten at the club houses, is served on real plates and in real glasses, making it at least more zero waste than food served at stadiums. ;)

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So, how much water do these courses really use?

The United States Geologic Survey estimated golf course irrigation accounts for only 0.5% of the 408 billion gallons of water used per day in the U.S.

According to the USGA, “The actual amount of water a golf course needs to sustain healthy turf growth depends on many variables including the species of turf, and the prevailing climate in a given area.

“Scientific studies have determined that various turf grasses require a specific percentage of the water that naturally evaporates from the soil and through the plants, also known as evapotranspiration (ETo).

“This reference number is typically measured by a weather station and models the inches of water that evaporates from a large, deep pan of water that is exposed to environmental conditions.

“Cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, creeping bent grass, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue generally require only 80% of the total evaporative demand. Warm-season grasses such as bermuda grass, zoysia grass, seashore paspalum, and buffalo grass use even less at 70% of ETo.

“Golf courses in cooler climates and high rainfall can use less that 1 acre-foot of water per acre each year. Golf courses in hot, dry climates may require as much as 6 acre-feet of water per acre per year.”

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Type of grass seems to be one of the most important things to take into consideration when it comes to water conservation watch this video.

Another key thing that many golf courses are doing, is informing patrons of playability vs. color of the grass. Shifting perceptions of what playability looks like is a huge bonus for saving water!

Most golf courses only water 2 times a week, and the average golf course is 150 acres. And, they’re typically only watering the fairways and greens which is a significantly smaller portion of that.

More than 13% of golf courses are using reclaimed/recycled/gray water for watering cutting that number down further. With more golf courses switching all the time.

what to look for when choosing a golf course:

The USGA has some great guidelines on what to look for when choosing a golf course.

  • Does the course use recycled water?

  • Does the course have written set of maintenance standards? You can see how often the course is watered and how the take care of their lawns and wetlands.

  • Does the course have an environmental plan? What are some of their goals? Water conservation, animal habitat restoration?

  • How are the water featured maintained? vegetated buffers around water features filter the water and provide habitats for wildlife.

  • Is the course a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program

Of course, be sure to check out these five top eco-friendly golf courses that are all certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries. Sustainability is their top priority providing valuable resources to the communities and of course providing a great past-time/ hobby.

There’s also a completely zero waste golf tournament! The Phoenix Open is hosted by Waste Management every year and there’s not a trash can insight.

The only bins available are compost and recycling bins, and WM employees actually go through and hand sort the compostables and recyclables just to make sure there’s no contamination.

They also host a sustainability forum during the sporting event and I get to attend this year! I’m super excited! Another reason why I wanted to look into the sustainability of golf courses.

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the future of golf course development:

As new courses are being built and old courses are being renovated, sustainability is one of the top priorities. Here are ways that golf courses all around the world are stepping up.

New positions are opening up called greenkeeping, through FEGGA, promoting sustainability for golf course management. More and more sustainability workshops and seminars are being hosted as well. (read more)

While, golf of the past might not have been the most eco-friendly past-time, things are definitely changing. You can expect to see more wildlife reserves, better water management, composting, and even, solar powered golf carts.

If you’re a golf course designer and managed to stumble on to this blog post… be sure to check this guide out.

how to be more conscious as a golfer:

Of course, as all of this is happening, there’s still more that you can do to be a more responsible player! The Audobon Society has created a green golfer pledge.

take the pledge:

“We value the nature of the game and accept our responsibility to ensure that golf courses are managed in harmony with the environment.

We pledge to:

  • Be kind to the course: repair ball marks and replace divots to help maintain playability.

  • Walk, rather than use a cart, when possible. Walking promotes physical fitness, healthy turf, and a clean environment.

  • Look for consistent, true ball roll on greens, rather than speed. Lower mowing heights required for fast greens are at the root of many turf and environmental problems.

  • Keep play on the course and stay out of natural areas. Respect designated environmentally sensitive areas and wildlife habitats within the course.

  • Use trash and recycling receptacles and encourage others to do the same. If you see trash, don't pass it up ... pick it up!

  • Appreciate the nature of the game. Watch for wildlife as you play and support the course's efforts to provide habitat.

  • Educate others about the benefits of environmentally responsible golf course management for the future of the game and the environment.

  • Encourage the golf course to be an active participant in environmental programs.”

opt for secondhand:

In most club shops, you can pick up second hand clubs. You can also rent clubs, if you’re just getting into the sport and not sure you’re going to like it.

Typically golf courses have a dress code of a collared shirt and no jeans allowed. Thankfully these items would be super easy to pick up secondhand at a thrift shop or on a site like ThredUp or Poshmark.

I personally always wore a polo and a khaki or navy skirt. I’m sure you could find golf shoes on a site like eBay, and I, personally, never liked wearing a glove.

get a better ball:

My next recommendation is to get a better golf ball! I like this one by Wilson. It doesn’t appear to have any plastic packaging, and it’s made with a recycled rubber core.

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my personal conclusion:

Is golf an evil, unsustainable sport that we should boycott and tear down? No, I don’t think so. Does the game of golf have a way to go in becoming more eco-friendly? Absolutely, but I think it’s well on it’s way and has already made great strides.

Will I pick up my clubs again? I’m not sure. I’d like to. And, it certainly does help that one of the most sustainable golf courses in the world is pretty close by.

I definitely think there are worse and more wasteful hobbies to have than getting out on the golf-course spending time in nature even if that nature is slightly manicured.

Being on the golf course was one of the main reasons I became interested in hiking and being nature. It’s probably the root of why I’m a conservationist. I wonder if other golfers feel the same way or if I’m just an anomaly.

I don’t know, but I’m curious to hear your opinion? What do you think about golf courses and sustainability? For me, I personally thought it was going to be a lot worse, but after doing the research, I’ve come out very pleasantly surprised.

For further reading: