game on Lizzy Newcomb

Lizzy Newcomb

Cricket is a game enjoyed by millions in England, although many of us have no idea how the game works. It originally began as a children’s game hundreds of years ago, when youngsters would play on the streets of England, others say it was invented by shepherds as a way to pass time, while guarding their sheep. However it was invented, today we have numerous cricket clubs, with games often played on village greens. So here a a few tips to replace the willow wood and leather balls, with more sustainable alternatives.

keep your village green organic

Like bowls and tennis courts, great care is taken to ensure that cricket pitches are a beautiful green, but you can still do this by organic lawn gardening and using recycled rain for irrigation (using child/pet-safe water butts and rainwater-harvesting systems). Grazers is a Yorkshire company that helps to humanely deter wild creatures from eating your grass, using a nontoxic formula (don’t use near pet rabbits, as it makes grass unpalatable).

sustainable alternative to willow cricket bats?

Most cricket bats are made from willow wood, with sustainability experts suggesting bamboo is an ideal replacement for cricket bats. It’s also cheaper and has less waste (up to a fifth of willow is burned as firewood). And as most cricket bats are made in India, the wood is grown here, shipped there and then shipped back again. Or perhaps bats could be made here from recycled wood?

switch to leather-free cricket balls

Like football and rugby clubs, many cricket clubs are now switching to cricket balls that are not made from leather (not a by-product of the meat industry, most leather is made in the Far East, with little or now animal welfare laws). Not just good for animals but good news for top vegan cricket players like Virat Kohli. Earley Cricket Club in Reading is one of the first to use a synthetic cricket ball covered in rubber. The same cricket club also has made their tea menu plant-based (done mostly to make things inclusive for Hindu and Muslim players – ham & beef sandwiches have now been swapped for vegan spaghetti bolognese and Moroccan tagine!

make gradual sustainable swaps to cricket grounds

Edgbaston Cricket Stadium also runs on green energy, and runs a free shuttle bus for ticket holders from Birmingham New Street Station. It also has made food packaging compostable (from seaweed). Lord’s Cricket Ground now uses electric (over petrol) lawnmowers and has introduced ReCups to visitors (these can be washed and reused over 100 times, yet robust enough to withstand hot drinks).

where to recycled used cricket equipment

Terracycle offers a used sports equipment box. For a one-off charge, communities can get together to send all unused and broken sports items out of town, to be recycled into other items. The box accepts all sports balls, rackets and equipment (not wood), plus swimsuits, goggles, water bottles, cycling accessories, yoga mats and disassembled fishing rods & nets.

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