With the start of a new racing season upon us, here’s a recap of three easy ways you can reduce the impact of your racing activities on the environment. Even if you’re not a big environmentalist, it makes sense to cut down your carbon footprint where possible to protect the long-term future of our sport. So try out at least one of these “top tips” when you next take to the track!
1 – Offset the carbon cost of your race fuel for FREE
This one’s a no-brainer. It doesn’t cost you anything, and it doesn’t involve changing your routine. As I highlighted in a previous blog, Shell are running a scheme at the moment in which they will offset the carbon footprint of any fuel purchased using the Shell Go+ app (or card), which is accepted at all Shell petrol stations. If, like me, you use Shell VPower as your race fuel, there’s really no justifiable reason NOT to scan the app when you fill up your fuel cans. You’ll also earn points towards money off your next top-up!
Whilst you’re at it, why not fill up your personal transport and towing vehicles with Shell petrol or diesel too? That way, you’re offsetting even more of your race weekend carbon footprint. Nice one!
2 – Recycle your race weekend waste
At the time of writing, very few permanent race circuits in the UK have dedicated recycling facilities, something which I am lobbying to change. Until that breakthrough occurs, we must all be responsible for our own recycling. A lot of paper and plastic gets used over the course of a weekend and if not recycled, it will either be incinerated or go to landfill, both of which are not good for the environment.
It’s easy to set up a separate container or bin bag – maybe even coloured differently from your standard rubbish bags – to collect recyclable waste. Then, at the end of the event, you just need to sling it in the back of a van and drop it off at your local recycling bank when you get home. Recycling is something we’re all used to now in our home lives, so it’s not much of a stretch to do the same when we use a race circuit.
If you want to be even more of a legend, consider cutting down on recyclable waste by going paperless (e.g. managing notes and tasks, etc. on a digital tool such as Trello) and using environmentally-friendly alternatives to plastic bottles and containers.
3 – Donate to carbon offsetting projects
Let’s face it, we can’t all go out and plant new trees to cover the carbon cost of our racing activities. Many of us lack the space or the time to actively give back to the environment by getting involved in initiatives to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, the good news is that there are organisations and charities out there dedicated to doing just that, so that we don’t have to – and if you want to help them out, then all you have to do is donate.
Carbon offsetting is the process of neutralising your impact on the environment by balancing out the CO2 emissions you generate. Anyone can do it, and if every racing driver offset even a portion of their race weekend carbon, our sport would be setting a fantastic example for others.
Check out Carbon Footprint Ltd and their extensive range of offsetting projects, all of which are Gold Standard certified and allow you to offset your carbon cost for as little as £6 per tonne.
All of these strategies are really simple but they make a massive difference to our planet and the long-term sustainability of motorsport. Be a hero and try out one or more of these top tips at your next race or track event. And please do let us know of anything you’ve done to race more sustainably, and share your own top tips!