A post from March 2016 addressed the issue of how to run in an environmentally friendly way by highlighting a section on the FAQ page of the website (BELOW IN ITALICS). In addition there was discussion about the GREEN use of thrift store clothes, which is included as well:
I want to be "GREEN" as a competitive runner. How can I do this other than making sure I don't leave trash on my runs and when I race, and don't despoil the environment along the way?
A: The general rules for being kind to the earth apply to running as they do to other activities, of course. Conserving energy in travel methods (carpooling, bicycling instead of driving alone to workouts or races, purchasing re-usable bottles rather than disposables, and cleaning up after yourself are just a few examples of how to be a good Earth citizen.
Runners can shop at thrift stores to purchase race day shirts or jackets that will be left at the start line or along the course. They can urge race directors to skip giving 'goody' bags that are filled with flyers and throw-away advertisements.
Running shoes can be recycled or given to charity. Medals can be donated or given as a personal gift to acknowledge the 'race' a non-runner struggles to win when facing a serious health problem (see GENEROSITY page)
Earned Runs bibs can be used for more than one personal competition event; running a personal race near your home will most times not result in as much energy/resource consumption as one to which travel is required.
Updated from the MARCH 3, 2016 post:
A unique way that runners who race can help the planet involves clothes layering. Often participants in a race must get to the starting line site much earlier than race start time. The weather may be cooler or inclement. As the race starts and bodies warm with the effort of moving rather than standing still, runners may discard outer clothing layers.
Spectator family or friends are sometimes tasked with finding these tossed articles on the roadside. Race organizers will collect unclaimed clothing and donate it to charities. This knowledge provides participants with an opportunity to contribute items, purposely wearing what they intend to give away and leaving it behind.
Another related practice is to go before race day to second-hand stores, purchase low-cost donated jackets or sweatshirts, wear them as outermost but disposable layers that can be shed, picked up by race personnel, and donated once again. Kind of a race-day-recycling effort. Not sure how the race personnel feel about this, though. Any comments?
Taking thrift store fashion in a different direction, some runners are keen on finding classic old school running apparel in antique and charity-run secondhand shops, and wearing them instead of buying never-worn new clothes. This works well for clothes safely worn in situations in which high-tech fabrics are not needed for performance.
Runner's World ran a "HUMAN RACE" item in the 2016 March issue that featured Tara Ehlis, co-owner of SPOOL NO. 72, a women's online boutique in Wenatchee WA. The piece describes how she searches thrift shops for vintage running clothes for her personal use, the most prized being throwback track jackets. If I find myself in such a store I now look for these items for myself and others, but have not yet discovered treasure. True sportswear classics, more than 20 years old, will mostly be found in the menswear section and make great gifts.
Comment about ways you have found to be a GREEN RUNNER.
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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