Friday, November 15, 2013

3 Reasons why Floorball must have an ENVIRONMENTAL policy in place NOW

One of mankind's largest issues could be climate change - therefore Floorball, as a modern force, must actively have the environment high on its agenda

The environment does not need more plastic junk out in landfills or in the ocean and Floorball is a rather plastic activity

The IOC care about the environment - and Floorball wants IOC to care about Floorball - Dude

So what can be done?
First there are some things in place that are good but just defined bad. For instance Unihoc's charity drive to collect Floorball equipment is nothing but a re-cycle campaign - unfortunately it has yet to be defined as such.
The latest from Sweden talks about a female top league system based upon NHL ideas to save money. Wrong again. This is not only to save money this is also more efficient travels and thus less environmental impact and therefore a strive in the right environmental direction. Yet again a problem with the definition and a misunderstanding on why things are done like they are.

But what can be done more as an environmental policy for Floorball?

May we suggest the following:
1) Sticks must be recycled. If we add a recycle refund value to each stick of for instance 1 USD the recovery rate of sticks returned to clubs collecting sticks would increase. These sticks could then, just like Unihoc has shown, be sent to developing Floorball countries. It is just to systemize this and drive it forward in the name of an environmental and charity effort. Sticks not being recycled to other countries should be taken care of in other ways to not end up in a landfill or in the plastic patch in the Pacific Ocean
2) Stick producers should make sticks with recycled content, either on a volunteer basis or being mandated that a part of stick production should include recycled material in their equipment (could also cover other equipment such as clothing and bags or other products)
3) Floorballs environmental strives must be communicated strongly. The main idea must be to build awareness and hopefully be rewarded (by the IOC) for strong environmental commitment. Sticks and other products with recyclable content should be marked as such with an IFF issued logo - taken care of at certification.
4) Floorball could take on one main environmental cause to communicate spread and share awareness about. Since the sport is called plastic at places - a good idea would be to aim efforts in the direction of the plastic patch in the Pacific Ocean
5) Floorball should recommend all leagues to use efficient and environmentally friendly travel systems, like they do in NHL (and as the Swedish ladies now plan to do) to minimize environmental impact by playing several away games in one trip - saving travel expenses also means less energy used
6) Floorball clubs could have systems in place that encourage fans to share the ride as they go to watch live Floorball. Easily addressed by a ride share app that show who you can share a ride with as you want to go to big games. This may also be used by active players as they go to practice - ride-share systems could have a large environmental impact locally but hysterical impact on the global scale
7) Uniforms, bags other equipment could be classified in terms of its environmental impact too. This probably best done on a volunteer basis by the producers
8) Clubs with an quality environmental policy in place, meeting certain standards as in certified ways, should be allowed to wear an official environmental logo on their club equipment
9) Board and rink systems that weigh less (less transport environmental impact) and made out of more environmentally friendly material - or classified on how to be recycled etc. Most likely boards/and rinks needs its own environmental regulation system. Anyway board systems with a pronounced environmental benefit should be certified free of charge by the IFF, whereas other board systems with no environmental policy should be charged at a much higher fee to get certified - to start with. Perhaps the rules should define better what an optimized environmental friendly board system should look like (could it for instance be 15 cm lower?)
10) Floorball ought to be the worlds first sport to implement an awareness strategy for the environmental impact of sport shoes. A) manufacturers should have in place environmental impact from production and transports B) Recycled content in shoe both from material used and from material possible to be re-cycled C) A system to recycle or re-use the shoes too. Shoes meeting these criteria should be allowed to use Floorballs environmental logo.

Some of these ideas as of above are maybe not fully practical to develop in 2013 or not next year either. But with the matter of climate change and the current manner of things... It is in our opinion borderline crazy to not focus a new modern sport in the direction of its own environmental impact. This is work that must be started now. And hey in our opinion this is a matter that must be dealt with - as serious - as the matter of doping if not even more. This is a matter of Floorballs social responsibility and the environment.

And nothing less.

OH, one more thing - the IOC has environment awards and there is no doubt that the upcoming Russian games in Sochi has an environmental policy in place too...

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Research suggest that eye-injuries are more common in Floorball as compared to Tennis, but less common as compared to Squash (similar to Racquetball).
To minimize this risk of injury Floorballcentral recommend: Use certified protective eye-wear (mandated in many European areas for the youth). Do not lay down on the court. Follow the rules strict on stick height.

Also if you get addicted to this sport - do not blame us!