Green Football Weekend returns for a second year, and will see millions of football fans across the UK involved in greener games as part of commitments to sustainability.
Running over the weekend of February 2-5, Green Football Weekend will see clubs across the Premier League, EFL and WSL encouraging fans to opt for greener choices - whether it be through transport, energy or, the focus of this year, eating more vegetables.
The world's largest football climate campaign, Green Football Weekend intends to mobilise football supporters across the UK, with Sky Sports and TNT Sports both championing the initiative. Fans will be urged to at least consider eating one veggie meal while at a stadium or at home on Green Football Weekend, while clubs will provide a greater array of meat-free options, too.
As part of the launch of this year's event, FourFourTwo were invited along to the Olympic Steps at Wembley Stadium on a bitter cold January day - poignant, considering a project focussing on climate change would be taking place in near-freezing temperatures.
With Robbie Savage and Joe Cole joined by Forest Green Rovers owner Dale Vince, presenter Lynsey Hipgrave and famous chef Levi Roots, two teams attempted making some vegetarian dishes to highlight the impact going green more often can have on the planet.
"I need educated in this field," Savage tells FFT. "My son went to Forest Green Rovers last year so I learned a little bit more, and cooking today with Levi Roots was fantastic. I learned today that if every football fan in the UK ate one veggie meal a day, it'd be the equivalent of taking 5.5m cars off the road. It's unbelievable.
"The biggest thing for me, obviously being involved with Macclesfield and grassroots football, is the amount of games that are called off due to the weather. This week, for example, we're lucky we've got a 3G pitch so our games will be on - but there will be lots of games up and down the country called off.
"150,000 pitches a year get flooded. So it's important that everybody in football, and for this campaign, just tries to make a little bit of difference."
Now the director of football at Macclesfield, Savage highlights how The Silkmen will buy into Green Football Weekend this year.
"At Macclesfield we're trying to be better, but we're still not as proactive as we should be," he says. "I certainly will be, especially on Green Football Weekend, encouraging people to walk to the game, and we'll be putting more veggie meals on the menu at the ground."
Joe Cole is also an advocate, suggesting that education is vital for progress to be made. While football is the focus, the former England international agrees that the sport can help mobilise society in a positive way.
"I think any message which is intended to help the planet is good," Cole tells FFT. "Educating people that you don't have to become a vegan and live in the forest just to make a difference.
"Everyone doing a little bit more will help and educating the young kids with cooking today - it's just trying to highlight how important all of this stuff is."
With over 30 million people reached through Green Football Weekend in 2023, organisers are hoping that an even greater impact can be made this year.
Since January 18, clubs have been competing to try and win the Green Football Cup - won by the side whose fans have scored the most green goals by pledging to make a green switch or take a green action.
Go to greenfootballweekend.com to help your club win the Green Football Weekend Cup by taking climate-friendly actions, whether that's downloading the FREE Green Football Weekend free veggie cookbook, trying a veggie meal, hopping on your bike or switching to green energy.
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