I wish that I had something nice to report on rugby, because the one game I’ve watched was fascinating. But alas, Brits with too much time on their hands have crunched numbers for the 2006 Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland, and found it alarmingly eco-unfriendly. And they didn’t even account for the face paint.
The disheartening news, straight from the mouth of researcher Andrea Collins of Cardiff University’s Center for Sustainability:
The energy and resources used by 85,499 rugby supporters that weekend [Feb. 12, 2006] resulted in an ecological footprint equivalent to the area of 3,578 rugby pitches.
(Handy rugby pitch size chart here.)
Hooligans Fans traveled a combined 15 million miles to arrive at the match, the vast majority commuting by car. Only 1 percent of the nearly 74 tons of waste produced over the weekend was recycled. But my favorite stats concern consumption in its purest form:
Researchers found that 47,000 burgers, pies, pasties [of the English variety, of course] were eaten over the match weekend by fans, and no vegetarian meals or fruit was consumed.
An average supporter drank six pints of lager, five measures of spirits and another four units of other alcohol on the day of the match.
And those above-average supporters … ? Never mind. I don’t even want to know.