Pledge for the Planet Whilst Watching the Euros

by Heather Ashworth, MSc

The excitement is building, the anticipation is in the air. Will football be coming home? Whether England fans think that this is their year or not, I know I am looking forward to watching England’s opener against Croatia and definitely the match against Scotland even if I will be in a room full of Scots! Yet, though football may be at the forefront of our minds, here at Pledgeball we want to create a win for the environment whilst watching our teams win (hopefully!).

This summer, Pledgeball is asking fans all over Europe to support their teams by making small sustainable lifestyle pledges, changes that when made collectively can have a significant positive impact on the environment. Pledgeball was founded in 2019 by Katie Cross to combat feelings of despair around climate change and to empower people to make small changes that can have a huge direct impact on reducing carbon emissions. The idea is to encourage fans to compete virtually in support of their team by making pledges to cut carbon emissions, whilst their teams compete on the pitch. The team that pledges to save the most carbon emissions, wins the fixture and moves up the Pledgeball League.

During the Euros, Pledgeball is encouraging fans to show support for their national teams and the environment by submitting a pledge. Pledges that fans can make include; picking up litter on your street, washing your clothes at 30C, reducing your meat and/or dairy consumption by 50%, walking or cycling if a journey is under two miles and turning down your heating, even by 1 degree. There are many more pledge options that can be found on the Pledgeball website . Get pledging whilst your team lines up!

All these pledges can make a significant difference to your personal emissions even if they only seem a small action. For example, if every fan at one game at Wembley Stadium this summer set their heating to 19C, even with a reduced rate of fans, over a year they’d save the same amount of CO2e as taking over 1,440 cars off the road. This proves that just one small action can make such a huge difference. Imagine if every game had fans at the stadium, at the pub, or at home making a small pledge for the planet. We could make a significant difference. Here at Pledgeball, we are massive football fans, and we are nowhere near perfect on our sustainable journeys therefore we will also be pledging during the Euros. I will be supporting England and my pledge will be to cut my dairy consumption by 50%. Katie is pledging to go vegan twice a week and Jenny is pledging to reduce her shower time to 5 minutes.

So, whether you support the Three Lions, the Tartan Army, Y Dreigiau, Les Bleus, Die Mannschaft or any other of the teams competing this year, why not help your team to achieve something on and off the pitch this summer and do something great for the planet.