Take it and Run Thursday this week is about "running green." Excuse to post a picture of Kermit the Frog? Done and done!
There are quite a lot of things that I do in my everyday life in an attempt to think green - CFL's, driving a fuel-efficient car, recycling, and waging a war against plastic grocery bags, to name a few. But I want to focus on what I, as a runner, do to be green.
If we want to save the Earth, we have to love it first, and I feel that runners especially love our planet. We spend as much time as possible outside, experiencing the elements, and enjoying the physical beauty of our surroundings. I feel a responsibility as a person to take care of the planet, but even more as a runner.
That was a lot of preamble, wasn't it? Let's throw in another Muppet quick before I continue.
That's Kermit's little nephew, Robin. Isn't he cute?
Okay, right. Running green. Here are my tips:
- Whenever possible, I register for races online. Saves the paper for the printed application, plus the envelope, plus the transportation costs to get it from one place to the other. Besides that, it's faster!
- I never buy bottled water. I have a reusable water bottle that I keep in the fridge so it's nice and cold. No waste, no needless use of plastic.
- I also don't buy bottles of Gatorade. I buy the powder and mix it in my reusable bottles. As a bonus, that's cheaper.
- I almost never drive to go running. My running routes pretty much all start and finish at my house. I am lucky to live a mile and a half away from two tracks, so on speedwork days, it's a perfect warm-up and cool-down.
- I try to race local, too. There are lots of great races in my area, and I rarely have to drive more than 5 miles to go to a race.
- I donate used running shoes, t-shirts, and other gear to charity. What no longer works for me can be a great benefit to someone else.
- When I run on trails, I keep my eyes peeled for trash. I'm not running my fastest on a trail anyway, so I definitely have time to go pick up that discarded beer can and throw it away.
Plus there's always riding your bike - cross training AND green (and an excuse for more Muppets)