Would you rather watch the nation’s favourite game in the comfort of your home in front of the big screen or with the lads in a pub?
Well, if you’ve always enjoyed the latter, then you’ve been, unknowingly, doing your bit for the environment!
A new report by Carbon Trust has revealed sharing a television screen with multiple people in general, either in the pub or at home, is the lowest carbon way of watching football per viewer whereas going to see a game live at the stadium produces the most carbon – particularly for an away game – due to the added impact of transport.
Using a smartphone or tablet connected to Wi-Fi is also better as emissions can also be as much as eight times lower than watching it on television – mostly due to the smaller size of the screen.
However, the research also reveals that streaming on a personal device could be the highest carbon way to watch a game if mobile data is used – that would be at least ten times higher compared to a broadband connection. Watching a whole football game via mobile data transmission could be very energy intensive – the same amount of emissions as driving ten miles in an average petrol car.
The Carbon Trust also claims watching a match on LED screens are the most energy efficient, followed by LCD and then plasma. Watching a game on a plasma screen could result in lifetime emissions a third higher than a similar sized LED TV and a laptop could result in less than half the emissions compared to a desktop computer.
It is estimated yesterday’s FA Community Shield at Wembley between Manchester United and Wigan produced around 5,160 tonnes of carbon dioxide, with 5,000 tonnes of that amount coming from fan travel. That is equivalent to the total annual energy emissions of around 1,000 UK homes.
Footballer Gary Neville said: “When it comes to cutting your own carbon bootprint, it is all about understanding your impact and making sensible choices to reduce it. The best thing fans can do is share the experience of watching a match, either by watching the game with each other or travelling together to the stadium.”
Michael Rea, Chief Operating Officer at the Carbon Trust added: “At the Carbon Trust we are working with a number of organisations to reduce the carbon bootprint of football. Our work helping teams, broadcasters and the telecoms industry to continuously reduce their environmental impact will in turn help to reduce the impacts of fans when they are watching football.”
In the UK, 27% of smartphone owners and 63% of tablet owners are now using their devices to watch live TV.