Opening day for Major League Baseball kicks off the spring season… along with opening day for spring sports in many families.
During this busy time of year, it’s important to stay true to your green path and not fall victim to convenience (aka: fast food and easy outs). Here are a few tips to keep you on your green track while enjoying baseball, softball, soccer and other fun spring sports with your family.
Find/Organize an Equipment Swap
Most of us know that playing sports can be an expensive endeavor. All the equipment can add up quickly in cost. If you’re anything like our family, you probably have a pile of cleats, baseball mitts, pants and other sporting equipment your kids have outgrown or no longer use. An equipment swap or exchange is a great way to get rid of some of that equipment while at the same time finding what you need at a lower cost.
- Organize your own swap. Join together with friends, teammates, or your whole league to hold a gear trade once a year.
- SwapMeSports is a fantastic site that allows you and your neighbors, family and friends to buy, sell, donate or find sports equipment without listing, shipping and selling fees.
Choose Healthy Snacks
Snacking on the wrong foods can add unwanted calories and make you even hungrier when mealtime rolls around. Long term, unhealthy snacks can also lead to obesity in children and obesity-related chronic diseases as adults. Before you head out to the ball field, make sure to give your children healthy foods to energize them during their game.
If parents take turns bringing snacks for the team, be the first to volunteer so you can start the season off on a healthy note.
- Take the time to read the ingredient list before purchasing. You might be surprised by what you find.
- Fruits and vegetables are always the best choice.
- Nuts are healthy, protein-packed snacks. Be sure to ask about allergies.
- Just because it is sold at a health food store doesn’t make it healthy.
Switch to Reusable Water Bottles
Break the disposable bottled water habit and switch to a reusables for spring sports. You’ll reduce the use of fossil fuels and toxic greenhouse gases that come from manufacturing plastic bottles. By using a reusable water bottle, you are also helping reduce the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills, sitting for years while they try unsuccessfully to decompose. There are a lot of reusable water bottle choices out there. The best choice for a non-toxic reusable water bottle is a stainless steel water bottle like Klean Kanteen.
During the spring sports season, there are generally friends and neighbors headed to the same field. Creating a carpool is a simple way to reduce the number of cars needed at a specific location. According to the EPA, burning 1 gallon of gasoline releases 20 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Cars produce air pollution through their release of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. By carpooling and reducing the number of cars on the road there is a direct impact on the environment and your pocketbook.
Safer Stain Removal
Does your kid slide into every base? Rather than using a stain remover with harsh toxic-chemicals, why not switch to a non-toxic alternative stain remover? Always treat grass and mud stains immediately… don’t let the stain set.
Wet the stain and then as soon as possible treat by soaking in white vinegar. For tough grass or mud stains, soak the area in a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar. In a bowl, mix vinegar into the baking soda a bit at a time until you have a spreadable paste (the consistency of toothpaste). Spread the mixture onto the stain and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Rinse the paste away and if the stain is gone wash the clothing as normal. If the stain is still visible, repeat the baking soda and vinegar treatment again.
Share these tips with your child’s coach and you’ll help score a home run for the planet!
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