Let’s face it, we are currently living in a very wasteful way. The amount of waste and pollution that we are producing every day is unimaginable. And the sports industry is no exception. All the games, big events like NBA playoffs and traveling of players cause a big environmental footprint that we should focus on.

What’s going on with our planet?

Many people still don’t know the reason for all the fuss around sustainability and eco-friendly movements. Bottom line is – Earth is getting warmer by the day and we are responsible for it. The main reason for the change in Earth’s temperature is carbon emissions, which are produced by burning fossil fuel that we use for electricity, transport and heating.

What are the effects of carbon emissions?

Carbon emissions are also known as the greenhouse gasses. Toxic greenhouse gasses include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone.


The name comes from the effect with which the gasses absorb heat that is produced by the Sun, also known as the greenhouse effect. Because of the increased amount of aforementioned gasses, the heat is not able to go into space and is trapped near the Earth’s surface, which causes the increase in temperatures.


If we don’t stop the global warming, it will have a severe effect on basketball and other sports:

  • Climate changes will cause conditions that won’t be safe for athletes to train or play sports.
  • The pollutants in the air and smog are causing respiratory diseases that can affect anybody, including top basketball players.
  • Extreme weather conditions, floods and wildfires are all consequences of greenhouse gasses that influence our lives in different areas, including food supply.

5 Ways to make sport more environmentally friendly

Main gas that is responsible for global warming is carbon dioxide. Therefore the goal is to reduce its production. A good start for the sports industry to achieve this goal is by following these five steps.

1.     Use of recycled materials

We can already see some major changes happening in the fashion world, where many manufacturers started using recycled and more sustainable materials. However, we don’t hear that much progress coming from the sportswear industry. If we focus only on basketball we can already replace a lot of materials that have a negative effect on the environment with recycled ones.

Sustainable sportswear

Fortunately there are companies that are focused on helping our environment. They are using recycled and/or natural materials for production of different clothing products and footwear like basketball shoes or lifestyle shoes.


A great way to make products more environmentally friendly is also a possibility of returning used products, so that they can be remade into a new product after they are worn out. This is a known practice in some big sport and fashion companies like Adidas and Nike. Their sustainable sportswear can be found in different stores, like for example Grosbasket shop.

2.     Use of sustainable transport

We know that basketball players often have to travel from one destination to the other. Traveling by plane is due to the time efficiency, often the main transportation choice. However when the situation allows it, it would be very beneficial to the environment, if people would use electric cars or buses or even better – bikes or walk.


By looking at a bigger picture, electric vehicles should also be used as one of the alternative transportation types at bigger events, like for example tournaments. A very good example of sustainable sport event were the Olympic games in Tokyo in the year of 2021, where they used electric vehicles and, in association with other environmental initiatives, significantly reduced the carbon footprint.

Types of eco-friendly transportations

  • Walking is 100 % emission free.
  • Cycling also requires zero fuel, except for the one used by your muscles.
  • Public transport that runs on electricity or any other low-emission fuel.


3.     Minimise the waste

By looking around us, we can still see how much waste we produce on a daily basis. If we only focus on basketball, there are a lot of areas where the amount of waste could be reduced:

  • Players should use reusable drinking bottles made out of recycled plastic, instead of single-use plastic bottles or cups.
  • Sport events should ban serving drinks in single-use plastic cups. Many sport events, like running marathons or trail runs now offer reusable cups made out of durable material that can be used during the competition or for serving drinks to the spectators.
  • Sport equipment, like basketballs, basketball shoes or sportswear should be put in sustainable or no packaging at all.


Green Sports Alliance is a foundation that focuses on helping the sports industry to become sustainable. They offer help to everyone involved in the sport field, from fans to athletes and communities. NBA Green is also a partner of Green Sports Alliance Foundation, because they strive to reduce the negative impact on the environment and become more friendly to the environment.

4.     Promote vegan food

We know that talking about food regimes is almost as sensitive as talking about beliefs and religion, however just hear us out before you stop reading this article. We are not trying to convince you to start eating vegan. Main goal of the promotion of vegan food is to introduce new food recipes to a wider audience.


Our current food industry is flooded with meat and meat products. Unfortunately, the meat industry represents the main producer of a specific greenhouse gas called methane. Therefore, it would be beneficial for the reduction of meat consumption, if all of us would include at least one meat-free day in the week.

Are there any vegan basketball players?

Well the answer to this question is definitely YES, there is a lot of professional basketball players who are vegan or on a plant-based diet. On a very long list of players you will find:

5.     Provide proper education

By educating everyone included in the sports industry, the word of importance of sustainability and awareness of environmental footprint can be properly implemented into the society. Education should be provided to the sport committees, fans, young and professional athletes, and also sport event organizers.


People should be informed about the importance of the use of eco-friendly and recycled materials, the reduction of waste, choice of transport and how their decisions about aforementioned factors influence our environment in the long run.

It takes more than just one player to make a team

A brief look over our suggestions for a better tomorrow shows that we have to combine different team players, if we want to make the world a better place. The full cycle should consist of a supply chain including food and energy suppliers, sport leaders and organizations, basketball players, sponsors and fans, all of them set for the same goal – to reduce the amount of waste and use recycled items.


By promoting a new and eco-friendly lifestyle we can influence the broader spectrum of society and make a change in the world. However to achieve these goals, we must work in compliance where each link in the chain represents a significant part of the cycle.