As time goes on, we hear more and more about ways we can help save the planet in all aspects of our lives…drive a hybrid car, recycle your garbage, eat organic/eat local. But did you know you can also help in several ways around your tennis facility? Statistics abound for ways people can reduce their impact on our environment, so why not try a few new things on your courts and make a step towards becoming a “Green Tennis Facility”.
Landfills accumulate 20,000 tons of used tennis balls each year. If your club spends time and money reordering practice balls after only one use, that likely means those used, “flat” balls are going into the trash at your club or facility – then on to landfills. To help reduce that impact, there are actually a handful of alternatives for you.
The first option is a new technology offered by Rebounces. This company has created the “Green Tennis Machine” that restores the bounce to flat tennis balls. The process is actually called “repressurizing” and is simple. You drop your flat tennis balls into the Green Tennis Machine and set the machine for approximately 3 days. After the process is complete, open the machine and reclaim your newly pressurized balls. If you choose to purchase one of these machines for your facility, you can extend your ball life by 2 to 3 times – meaning your practice ball budget is greatly reduced. You’ll give Mother Nature a little help, along with your budget – think of all you could do with that extra money saved! To learn more, check out their site, www.Rebounces.com.
If you prefer to donate your old tennis balls, Project Green Ball may be an alternative. They will take used tennis balls and grind them up to create safe flooring used for equestrian arenas and playgrounds. This is a safer and dust-free alternative for these applications. To learn more, check out their site ProjectGreenBall.com.
And one of the warmest and fuzziest options is to donate used tennis balls to your local animal shelter. Many times these shelters are in need of donations, and a used tennis ball could help bring a little joy into their pooch’s lives.
CLAY TENNIS COURTS
Despite the unquestioned health benefits of clay court tennis, the water, material and maintenance requirements of traditional sprinkler irrigated clay courts have historically placed them out of reach for most court owners. The FDC HydroCourt changes the equation, so consider converting your conventional sprinkler irrigated clay court to a subsurface irrigated FDC HydroCourt.
The FDC HydroCourt is a “green” technology, developed to make clay court tennis an attainable and environmentally friendly option for all court owners. The FDC HydroCourt system greatly reduces the amount of water, material, rolling and time required to properly maintain a clay court. Clay court tennis is now a real alternative for almost any court owner. Of all the leading sub-surface irrigation systems, the FDC Hydrocourt requires the least amount of aggregate fill material for construction in most instances. This results in less of an impact on our valuable natural resources and reduced utilization of heavy machinery needed to extract and transport such material.
Lower Water Usage
Many environmental experts believe the next great challenge facing our planet is water usage. The FDC HydroCourt subsurface irrigation system addresses this concern and utilizes up to 60% less water than sprinkler irrigated clay courts, making a clay court an environmentally friendly choice even in arid climates.
Lower Material Costs
The FDC HydroCourt system keeps the surface of the clay court continuously moist and free of blowing clay dust. This results in 50% less use of clay court material, an igneous metabasalt greenstone product found exclusively in the Appalachian Mountains. The FDC HydroCourt system also extends the life of your windscreens, as they are not continuously stained by a sprinkler system.
Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions & Labor Costs
Climate change is a hot button topic these days. Regardless of your individual beliefs on the topic, we can all agree that anything we can reasonably do to cut emissions is a good thing. Sprinkler irrigated clay courts require an extensive amount of power rolling, a process that requires significant labor time and the release of harmful greenhouse gasses. FDC HydroCourts require little rolling after the initial installation process.
ClayTech is a relatively new clay court surface that blends the sliding feature of Har-Tru courts with the easier, more cost-effective and environmentally safer maintenance features of a hard court. A big selling feature of these courts is how easy they are to maintain and how little water they require.
ClayTech’s natural, clay top layer (Har-Tru) and synthetic, polypropylene membrane create an attractive, uniform, sliding court surface. Maintenance requires nothing more than a simple sweep, even after a season of not seeing play. This reduces your carbon footprint since heavy gas or battery powered machinery such as rollers are not required to maintain these courts. Another bonus for planet earth provided by the ClayTech court is that water consumption is considerably reduced because of the material facilitates water absorption and drainage. All you need to do is simply spritz the court for 3-5 minutes before play. The clay-topped surface prevents holes and cracks and the polypropylene membrane contributes to a very long life. And since the perimeter lines are painted in place when the surface is installed, the lines easily last for two or three years. That means the amount of court material ending up in a landfill is greatly reduced – no more disposing of hundreds of feet of lines!
Outpost Message Boards give you a green way to communicate with your members. All Outpost models are made with environmental recycled plastic that will not rot splinter or crack. You also reduce waste because they never need to be painted. The Outpost Message Boards come in a variety of sizes and colors to match your facility’s needs.
There are a number of benches available made from recycled materials. There is no stronger bench on the market than the Rock Island bench. The “Rock” will provide you with unparalleled support and durability. Each bench comes with a 50-year limited warranty against rot and termite damage. These benches are made from recycled plastic with no maintenance required – no painting, no rot or rust damage to attend to.
Another alternative in green benches is the classic elegance of the Malibu Bench. This bench will enhance any seating area and its contoured design provides great support. Each Malibu Bench also comes with a 50-year limited warranty against rot and termite damage. These benches are made from recycled plastic, as well, and there is no maintenance required to maintain their appearance and longevity.
A third example would be the Durawood Bench which is built-to-last from incredibly durable recycled plastic which has the appearance of lumber. These are perfect for tennis courts since they are designed to evenly distribute weight which prevents potentially destructive hard court indentations. They cannot rust, rot, split or warp.
Each type of bench above will be available a variety of colors to best match your existing court amenities, as well as varying sized, depending on the amount of space you have at your facility.
Trash Receptacles/Ball Recyclers
In keeping with today’s “green movement”, the Courtserve Trash Receptacle includes a special ball hole above the trash entrance to encourage tennis ball recycling. The Courtserve Trash Receptacle is an extremely functional addition to any tennis facility. The Courtserve Trash can functions very well at handling your facilities refuse, as it holds up to 40 gallons of trash. The balls roll into a separate compartment apart from the trash that can hold up to 50 tennis balls. And if using the Rebounces “Green Tennis Machine”, your teaching pros will find a steady supply of teaching balls to replenish their carts and baskets.
These are just a handful of the ways you can help your facility on its way to being more environmentally friendly. This can also be a great selling feature for your members and future members. When they find that you are taking additional steps to help our environment, they will understand that your facility truly cares about the impact you have on our planet and its resources.
To learn more about any of the products mentioned in this article, please contact 10-S Tennis Supply at 800-247-3907 or visit our website at 10-S.com.