In the build-up to Earth Day, Arsenal and Southampton supporters will be able to enjoy a more environmentally sustainable matchday at this Saturday’s Premier League fixture, with a range of activities planned as part of Saints’ sustainability strategy, The Halo Effect.
By taking part in the first Greener Game, Southampton and Arsenal will be working together to challenge people’s views on the importance of environmental sustainability.
We can all play our own part in becoming more environmentally sustainable and Southampton is putting on a range of activities to help supporters get involved ahead of Saturday's game, including:
- A free park and ride service for supporters driving into Southampton
- Wire fish sculpture to collect supporters’ single-use plastic recycling
- Packets of wildflower seeds are being given out to young fans
- Promotions on vegan food options in the St Mary’s concourses
Supporters will also have the chance to feature on the big screen by making their own environmental sustainability pledges.
To help alleviate the travel emissions that are caused by supporters driving to St Mary’s on a matchday and promote more sustainable travel options, Southampton has arranged for a free park and ride service at the Ageas Bowl for fans travelling from outside the city.
Supporters will need to pre-book parking spaces at the Ageas Bow with buses departing at 1pm, 1.15pm, 1.30pm and 1.45pm taking fans directly to St Mary’s.
Fans who live closer to the stadium are encouraged to leave their cars at home and to travel to St Mary’s by bus, train, walking or cycling if they can.
As part of the Greener Game, Arsenal is subsidising coach travel for away fans with all official club coaches offsetting carbon emissions. The first team coach will also be run on biodiesel fuel for travel to and from St Mary’s.
Supporters will be able to learn more about the effects of plastic pollution with Final Straw Foundation bringing a giant wire fish sculpture that fans can drop their single-use plastics and bottles inside, highlighting the impact waste can have on our oceans.
Earlier this season Southampton introduced reusable plastic cups in the St Mary’s concourses with fans asked to make sure they place these in the designated cup collection bins after use.
Arsenal’s travel escorts will also collect all plastic bottles accumulated on their coaches, which will then be given to Southampton to add to their waste collection bins.
Young Southampton fans will be able to take home wildflower seeds to plant at home with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust also handing out activity packs and prizes as part of their Wilder Southampton project.
Packs of wildflower seeds will also be provided for our Junior Gunners to plant.
Supporters will also be able to take photos in front of a stunning living wall, made up of 192 plants, with the opportunity for fans to make their own personal environmental sustainability pledges.
Supporters who get to the stadium early can take advantage of free vegan food tasters, available for the first five hundred fans to enter the turnstiles. Regular vegan food options in the concourses will be 20 per cent off too.
The Halo Effect ambassador and Southampton FC Women’s player Katie Rood will be taking to the St Mary’s pitch at half-time to talk about her passion for the environment.
Caroline Carlin, Operations & Sustainability Manager for Southampton, said: “We are pleased to be coming together with Arsenal Football Club for the Greener Game. At Southampton, we’re committed to ensuring a sustainable future for our club, our fans and our community. It's why in January last year we launched our sustainability strategy, The Halo Effect, signalling our commitment to live up to our environmental, corporate, fan and social responsibilities.
"We know that there is a long journey to go when it comes to sustainability, but we hope that by hosting a range of different activations at the Greener Game we can challenge people’s views on the importance of environmental sustainability and encourage our fans to think about the different ways in which we can all help protect our planet.”
Arsenal’s Sustainability and Logistics Manager, Mike Lloyd, added: “As a club, we are committed to using our power and reach to inspire our global communities and push each other towards a more sustainable future. Together with our partners, we’ve already implemented a number of environmentally friendly practices across the club, and we’re proud to build on this by supporting the Greener Game vs Southampton on Saturday.”
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