Running and ecology seem like a good compo already. All we need is running shoes and path, right? Climate change, environmental disaster, extreme weather, travelling, climate emission, trash, ocean pollution, such a few words we hear every day. Running is changed, it not as easy as it used to be. It’s more technical, there are more equipment than ten years ago.
Most of us running outside, trails, mountains, cities, forests, along the beach, where ever we go nature is close to us and we can enjoy its beauty. So what we can do to help to safe that beauty to the next generation. I’m not going to list all the harm that plastic, climate change etc, do our planet as otherwise, this post will be the length of the fat book. If you really already don’t know those facts, I recommend you go to Google.
There are so many aspects and things that can be done, so I will write several posts. In this post, we’ll focus on running events. I will generally speak marathon events, as they are often big mass events, but this also can mean any road and off-road event.
Marathons are grown in massive events, multiple days events that collect together tens of thousands of runners and their families and friends together. Everything starts off running expo, full of companies selling and advertising their products. You might have found your bag full of samples and flyers after leaving the expo. How often do you read those flyers or use the information? Learn to say no. Challenge the companies to share their newsletters/discount coupons a new way. As those flyers often end up the trash before reading. Same as free samples, are they wrapped in single-use plastic? Give feedback, ask them to make a reusable and environmental package.
The event itself. Drinking stations, finish area, start area. Do you really need a cape to keep yourself warm, if the weather is horrible then maybe yes, especially if you are a fast runner and don’t need that many clothes on during the race, otherwise say, no.
Bottles and cups, thousands of them. There are as many opinions as there are runners which are a more environmental friend and sustainable. It all depends on materials and after use, where they are going, is it local production or coming from another side of the world. Many marathons are taking a step to make their events more eco-friendly. One of the biggest is the London marathon, they are testing and using new ideas during the marathon such as seaweed pouches.
What you can do? If it’s possible, choose the race near you. Pick the event that pays attention to the environment and recycling. And the most important; Give feedback! Don’t be rude, offer ideas, feedback about what they can do better. Often changes start from the customers, it’s not an easy and fast process to change big contents of race. Remember to follow rules, if events have set up something honour them. For example, some events have a trash zone near the drinking station, leave the cup/bottle and empty gel packages to the zones, or carry them to the next one, it’s makes cleaning easier and faster.
Love nature and it loves you back!