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Graph of the Day: The carbon bootprint of watching football

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What price a love of football? We all know how emotionally taxing it can be watching your favourite team play, but what about the cost to the environment? A UK study, commissioned by the Carbon Trust, has set out to answer this very question by measuring the ‘carbon bootprint’ of football spectatorship.

The results of the study, released last week, found that the most environmentally friendly, low-carbon way to watch a football match, per viewer, is to share a television screen with multiple people – at home or even down the pub.

For those who prefer to work alone, the study finds the lowest-carbon way to do this is to use a smartphone or tablet connected to broadband internet. As the infographics below show, emissions for this form of solo spectatorship can be as much as eight times lower than watching (alone) on television, mostly due to the smaller size of the screen.

But, and it’s a big but, streaming on a personal device could also be the highest carbon way to watch the broadcast of a game; with the use of mobile data increasing the bootprint by at least 10 times compared to a broadband connection – akin to driving 10 miles in your average petrol car.

As for going to the game – forget about it. Carbon Trust calculated the carbon bootprint of The FA Community Shield game between Manchester United and Wigan, on Sunday August 11, and found it to be an estimated ~5,160 tonnes of carbon dioxide, with 5,000 tonnes of that amount coming from fan travel – equivalent to the total annual emissions from energy use for around 1,000 average UK households.

If you simply must go, however, then maybe just leave out the pie…

carbon-bootprint-of-watching-football_498x444carbon-bootprint-fa-community-shield_498x580carbon-bootprint-food-drink_498x243For a closer look, download the ‘carbon bootprint’ here

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  • Catprog

    I wonder how much of the 5160 carbon from going to the game each person contributes?