A new campaign has discovered that 88% of football fans think that football clubs and players should inspire fans to take on planet friendly behaviours.
This year, environmental charity Hubbub took on the beautiful game with a new campaign to understand the influence and opportunity that football has for inspiring positive change. Hubbub aimed to understand why the climate has always been left on the bench. 'Manchester is Green' was a three-week challenge that encouraged football fans to reduce their consumption of meat and dairy, and show food waste the red card.
Hubbub recruited 72 Manchester City and Manchester United fans, and over three weeks led them through a series of activities including cook-alongs and matchday challenges. They learnt about cooking more from scratch, eating more plants (and less meat), and wasting less food.
Three months after the challenge, they surveyed those involved and were blown away by the results:
- 70% ate less meat
- 77% ate more plants
- 83% wasted less food
- 61% felt healthier since taking part in the challenge
- 68% said being involved with Manchester is Green helped save them money on food (£17.47 per week on average, or £900 per year)
- 88% of football fans said that football clubs and players should inspire fans to take on planet friendly behaviours.
Individual stories that came through were just as inspiring. Carl, a Manchester United fan, said before the challenge “I love bacon butties, pies and steak - I’m not really the kind of person that would normally go for this”. He reduced his meat consumption from almost daily to just one or two days a week, after just a three-week challenge.
Manchester is Green demonstrated that there is appetite from fans to learn more about sustainable diets and that football clubs have a huge opportunity to drive this conversation.
Hubbub have picked out three tactical changes football clubs can make to encourage sustainable diets amongst fans:
- Match day: Encourage more plant-based uptake on match-day menus and nudge fans to ‘try something new’.
- Home fixture: Inspire fans to take on more planet-friendly behaviour at home, particularly eating more plant-based food and reducing food waste.
- In the community: Keep supporting local community groups taking action to help people cook more tasty, healthy and planet-friendly food.
Published 27 Oct 2022
Food for the Planet: Food for the Planet is helping local authorities, businesses and organisations take simple actions to tackle the climate and nature emergency through food.
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