September 29, 2021

First Carbon Net Zero Soccer Game: Tottenham Hotspurs vs Chelsea 9.19.2021

Sports bring us together. They give us entertainment and they allow us to settle our political differences in ways other than wars. In almost every American household there is at least one sport regularly playing on the television. In our house that sport is football -- or "soccer" as us Americans know this sport by.

Popular all around the world and huge in every country other than the United States, soccer has been a catalyst for youth in some of the poorest places of the world. It’s popular in these poor places because of tradition but also because it only takes a simple ball and a small target to use as a goal, whereas other sports usually take much more gear or need more people on the team to be a good game.

One of the largest and most well-funded soccer leagues, with some of the best players in the world, is the English Premier League in the United Kingdom. The Premier League and Tottenham Hotspurs Football Club recently made an exciting sustainable leadership choice: to hold the first ever carbon net zero soccer game between teams Tottenham and Chelsea on September 19, 2021. Tottenham Hotspurs partnered with Sky news and the UK government to tackle this monumental reduction in carbon footprint and to bring attention to the climate emergency we're all currently fighting.

Tottenham Hotspurs Football Club Stadium

Carbon net zero status for events and buildings means that the emissions of carbon produced by that venue has been calculated and that sustainability strategies have been put in place to reduce the carbon being generated to zero, with nothing harmful being emitted into our planet's environment.

Calculations for carbon emissions for the soccer game would have captured everything from how the stadium is powered, how far the food travels to get to the stadium and how it is grown; emissions created by how players and attendees travel to the game; and impacts of the water used throughout the stadium. Greenhouse gas emissions calculations are a very complex data gathering and analysis process with many different indicators weighing in on the carbon emissions calculation.

Sustainability efforts are also incomplete without social justice as a key component. The Premier League, its players, and staff are already well known for their progressive support of human equality.

Carbon zero status was achieved through many different methods for the Tottenham-Chelsea soccer game, including the purchasing and planting of carbon offsets. Offsets will unfortunately always need to be used for large scale events and structures to reach carbon net zero status no matter the reduction techniques used, so this isn’t something we’re going to change soon.

Some of the techniques that Tottenham Football Club used to make this a sustainable soccer game were reducing the overall energy usage to power the game and using sustainable sources for energy; encouraging proper waste management and recycling; and making dietary choices at the stadium that reduced travel distance of food and encouraged meatless or meat-alternative options. The club also encouraged their fans to make sustainable choices, such as taking transportation to the games in a way other than driving and to consider water conservation at home and at the stadium.

What’s really exciting is that the Premier League even chose to promote sustainability in this way. With millions of viewers across the world watching their games they can really make a statement about issues essential to human kind.

Remember that even really big things begin with really small steps: How can you positively affect our resources and our planet? Can you be a little more conscious about water or energy use throughout your day? As Gandhi once said, change begins with me. Changing our own behavior is the only effective route to saving our planet.

If you want to change the world, start with yourself.
Mohandas Gandhi

Tottenham Hotspurs soccer players and staff are passionate about their climate goals for the planet, calling themselves the Premier league‘s greenest club. Great job, Tottenham Hotspurs, for setting the new standard for soccer games around the world!

#amberclee #gamezero

September 21, 2021

Hiking at Turkey Creek (Gainesville/Alachua)

Nestled between the Gainesville-Alachua area, the Turkey Creek trail system is a little gem of North Florida. Horse riders, bikers, hikers, and dog walkers are all welcome on these trails. The main trail we traveled through the woods on was 2.5 miles long and had an elevation change of over 85 feet. Rated as “easy” due to the broad, even surfaces on the main trails; the elevation change did make this trail a little more challenging than easy.

Peeking from under a mushroom.

The day we went hiking it had been raining off and on over the last month and the trails were still a little damp. One section of the main trail Turkey Creek actually passes over the roadway so we had to hop over the water. The trail has adequate shade for the majority of the hike.

This is really one of the best trail systems in the Gainesville area. Pick a day to visit when it hasn’t rained too much in the previous week and make sure to wear bug spray - there are definitely a lot of swarming mosquitoes and horseflies as you get into boggier (lower elevation) areas.

This is the bug spray I use:

Buy OFF! Deep Woods Bug Spray (2-pack)


Along the trail there are several sinkholes and deep washes where water has cut through the terrain. Since Gainesville has had quite a bit of rain over the summer there were also many different kinds of mushrooms growing everywhere in the damp ground.

White, wavy mushrooms cover this fallen log.
Another huge mushroom.
We even saw a family of four deer while we were there: a small buck, a doe, and two fawns hiding just off the road. The buck and doe stood just breathing and looking at us about 10 feet from our vehicle - they were small deer, but truly beautiful to see wildlife so close. Other reviewers have noted seeing turkeys, deer, snakes, alligators, and even bobcat while hiking Turkey Creek.

Two deer by the side of the road: a small buck and a doe.

In addition to the main broad, easy trail; there are many side trails and cut-throughs that are not as well-maintained, but still passable if you are on horseback or mountain bike. There’s even a fitness course that cuts through the middle of the park with fitness equipment installed along the route. We will definitely be coming back with our mountain bikes so that we can take some of the side trails more easily and cover more ground to get to some of the back trails.

You might want to bring a hiking stick with you when on foot at Turkey Creek. A hiking stick would come in handy in some of the higher grass areas or if you ran into some of those poisonous snakes that are advertised everywhere. I almost always carry a hiking stick for snakes or wild animal protection as dangerous situations can arise quickly when you’re out in the wild.

This is the hiking stick I recommend:

Buy Hickory Wood Hiking Stick

I also bring a fanny pack with my phone, keys, and water. A fanny pack doesn’t hold heat against your body like a backpack does, it provides plenty of caring space, and you’re still hands-free.

This is the exact fanny pack I carry (blue/yellow camo):

Buy Blue/Yellow Camo Fanny Pack

Here's a red/grey camo version:

Buy Red/Grey Camo Fanny Pack


If you haven’t hiked this really neat trail in the Gainesville area yet, then I highly encourage you to make a trip. It’s so quiet and rural while you’re on the trails that you don’t hear any traffic. It’s a peaceful slice of Florida that you have to visit!

A large tree had fallen across the main trail.

A green Florida anole.
#amberclee #CommissionsEarned #Ad  

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