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8 Ways You Can Go Green at the Rink

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 02/05/20, 6:00PM EST

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Doing your part to help make hockey a more environmentally friendly sport


Photo Credit: Heather Pollock Photography

We’ve all heard it before: reduce, reuse, recycle. We all need to do our part to make sure the world is a cleaner and greener place than the one we inherited. But how can we make hockey a 'Greener Sport'?  We’ve come up with some ideas on how you and your hockey team can reduce your carbon footprint.

1. Carpooling

Always a great start. Yes, it may be tough to pack all those hockey equipment bags in one trunk (and you may also need to wear a nose clip in the car on the drive home from practice), but carpooling is a great way to reduce those harmful emissions caused by driving. “Going Green” by carpooling will not only help the environment, but will also save you “Green”. You’ll spend less on gas and normal wear and tear on your car. Carpooling is also a great way for both kids and parents to make close friends on the team.

Many facilities are introducing no idling zones immediately outside entrances to the building. Please consider air quality for those that enter and exit our buildings, not to mention that many of these areas are also no parking areas for emergency equipment.

2. There's Always Someone Who Can Use Your Equipment

Sometimes kids can outgrow their hockey equipment before they even finish a season. When you’re done with your usable gear, don’t just throw it in the trash. There are many organizations that can help you sell or give away your old hockey equipment (ask your Association). Near the end of your season, have your team organize a pick-up day where everyone can donate all their unwanted hockey equipment. You won’t just be doing the environment a favour, but also families who can’t afford to buy brand new gear.

3. Rethink What You Drink

Let’s face it; most parents need to have their cup of coffee at the rink just as much as the kids need their water bottles! Instead of using the paper cup, buy a travel mug and reuse it. Some coffee shops offer a free coffee with the purchase of every travel mug and a discount when your bring your own mug. Kids should also use reusable water bottles for their practice. If you must use plastic water bottles and paper cups, make sure you recycle them.


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It's not just our actions off the ice that can make a difference. There are many small changes we can make together at the rink that add up in the big picture.

4. Turn off the hot water

Turn off the hot water in the shower when not being used. Many times users go into the dressing room after play and immediately turn on the showers and let them run for extended periods while taking off their equipment. This hot water is expensive and a waste of energy.

5. Keep Your Water in the Bottles

Often players dump the leftover water bottles down the boards at the player’s benches at the end of the game. This water is a prime contributor to ice build-up along the boards. The ice resurfacer, because of its design, cannot cut tight to the boards. If left unattended, it starts to thicken away from the boards causing the refrigeration plant to work harder. It also will need significant more maintenance using a specially designed tool to cut the ice away. These tools are most often fossil-fuelled powered and leads to more energy consumption.

6. Bring a Blanket

Hockey fans should know they need to bundle up when coming to the rink. When the heaters get turned on the owner is paying for two energy sources – the heat in the stands and the refrigeration system. Refrigeration is the transfer of heat. The refrigeration plant must remove the heat from the building to make good/safe ice.

7. Choose the Right Bin

Many arenas have introduced waste management systems to ensure materials that can be recycled are recycled. Pick the right bin when using these containers so these efforts are not lost. We can all do our part.

8. Keep outside doors closed

It is important to keep all doors closed to the outside. Allowing warm air to enter the facility forces the heating/HVAC units to turn on and use more energy, as well as the refrigeration equipment to transfer this heat therefore uses more energy.

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