Earth Day is Monday, April 22 and we’re focusing on how swimmers can celebrate and protect all of the beautiful places there are to swim in the world.
Across the world, there are billions of people who swim every day. Swimming might seem harmless to our environment, but there are so many ways swimmers can make an impact on protecting our waters and natural resources.
Here are 10 steps that swimmers can take to be a little greener this Earth Day:
Go For an Outdoor Swim
Celebrate Mother Nature’s beauty and enjoy the great outdoors! Hit the open water and enjoy a nice swim in a river, lake or ocean near you. Relish in the feeling of weightlessness in the water, and take a moment to appreciate the sunshine, birds, fish, and lapping waves around you.
Show us the most beautiful place you’ve ever swam and tag #MySwimPro in your photos for a chance to be featured on our social media!
Just remember, open water swimming brings new challenges and can sometimes be dangerous. Do your research before you swim.
Join an Earth Day Swim Near You
Many communities host an Earth Day swim where you can participate in a non-competitive group swim that focuses on raising money for organizations and non-profits who work to protect our waters and natural resources.
Do some research and join a swim near you!
Always Turn Off Locker Room Showers
This is one of the worst habits of swimmers! Please help save water by always turning off your shower in the pool locker room, when you’re finished. You could save thousands of wasted gallons of water. Take the extra step and remind other swimmers in the locker room, or talk to a pool manager about installing signs that remind patrons to turn off their showers.
Make Your Voice Heard
It’s important for individuals to adopt environmentally friendly habits themselves, but swimmers can also make an impact by holding swim meets accountable, too.
If you notice that a pool, swim meet, triathlon or open water swim can implement more eco-friendly practices – speak up! Speak to the event organizer on ways they can improve their event’s footprint, and celebrate the events that are doing a great job!
Some ways that swimming events could be more eco-friendly:
- Paperless communications – opt for all digital
- Install recycling bins on deck
- Pick up all trash left on the deck
- Ditch the paper cups at water stations, and encourage people to bring their own bottle
- Order eco-friendly meet shirts made from 100% recycled polyester or organic cotton
- Ban styrofoam at the event
- Encourage participants to donate old apparel or equipment at the meet
- Buy food and snacks in bulk, using less packaging
- Use biodegradable utensils and plates
- Remind swimmers to ditch plastic bottles, and turn off the showers
- Compost organic waste
- Only use reef and ocean-safe sunscreen for open water swims
- Encourage ride-sharing
- Use renewable energy sources (such as solar panels) for operation needs
Help Reduce Waste at Pools
Talk to your pool’s lifeguard or manager about ways they could improve their pool’s footprint. Maybe they reconsider their water management strategies, or install showers that turn off automatically after 5 minutes, or install a recycling bin on deck.
Donate Used Suits, Towels and Equipment
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Happy Thanksgiving from our swim family to yours! . In the spirit of giving this holiday season, our very own Eli Atkinson organized a swim drive to collect gently used swim equipment at @huronathletics, @salineathletics, and @pioneerswimming to donate to @detroitswims (a YMCA organization). With his efforts, and the help of the community, he was able to deliver over 210 pieces of swim equipment, including 51 snorkels and 28 pairs of paddles to swimmers who would otherwise be unable to afford it. ❤️ . #giveback #community #swimfamily #goodkids #theTEAM #SST #thanksgiving #fullheart #grateful @michiganswimmingnews @barwismethods @swimswamnews @swimmingworldmag @usaswimming @michiganswimming
The next time you want to throw out an old swim suit or or towel, remember that there is a swimmer out there who might need it more than you. This helps reduce waste, and makes our sport more accessible to those who cannot afford these items. Chat with your pool manager to learn how and where you can donate some of your gently used clothing and equipment.
Items you might be able to donate:
- Swim suits (all ages and sizes!)
- Technical racing suits
- Parkas and warm ups
- Swim cap
- Pull buoys
- Shampoo, conditioner and soaps
Ditch Plastic Water Bottles
Plastic bottles are not sustainable and leave a terrible carbon footprint. The next time you drink water out of a plastic bottle, just remember that it is not biodegradable and it could stick around on earth for a thousand years.
Make a 1-time purchase of a durable, re-usable water bottle (BPA-free, or even better, stainless steel) and make an effort to bring it everywhere you go. You’ll save money, live healthier, and make an impact on global sustainability.
Hint hint – you can even put a MySwimPro sticker on it 🙂
Clean Up A Beach
If you live near a pond, lake, river or ocean, head out for a short beach clean up this weekend! Grab a friend, go for a nice walk, and pick up any trash that could damage the natural water system. Or even better, make it a rule that every time you go for an open water swim, you’ll clean up 1 piece of trash on your way out of the water.
There are many organizations who host official Beach Clean-Up events, do some research in your town to join!
Donate To Protect a Body Of Water Near You
Here are just a few amazing organizations who work hard to protect and preserve water. We encourage you to research more organizations, and share them with us! Make a difference and contribute a donation – any bit helps!
Use Less Water at Home
Help preserve water by being more mindful of how much water you use. Some ways you can use less water at home:
- Take shorter showers
- Only run your dishwasher or laundry when it’s 100% full
- Turn off the sink when you brush your teeth
- “If it’s yellow, let it mellow”
- Choose efficient water fixtures
Have any other ideas? Leave a comment below! Remember, celebrate Earth Day with us by tagging #MySwimPro in your photos of the most beautiful place you’ve ever swam!
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