If you thought that running was the apex of eco-friendly sports activates, think again. If you’ve ever taken part in a marathon or watched a race on TV, then you must have been bothered by the amount of plastic water bottles that go to waste. Solo running is no different, as individuals also litter the park with garbage, trample over plants, and scare wildlife with loud music from the phone stereo.
However, a new generation of runners is emerging, ones that take active care of the environment during the event they organize. Green runner, as they are called, are really eco-aware runners that make sure everything they wear, drink, and consume during running is 100% environmentally-friendly. It might seem odd that we should care about speedy tree-huggers but their way of life conceals secrets we could benefit from. Care to know which?
Supporting local producers
Most of us buy food at a supermarket without even bothering to trace its origins. In the other hand, green runners seek to actively promote small local food producers and promote healthy food. Organic farmers benefit from green running vents because they get to set up a market where they can sell their produce.
Surprisingly enough, green runners adhere to the principle of frugality, even though running is a sport that burns whole lot of calories. They only buy food they consume within a day so there are no stock and over-shopping. Furthermore, eggs, meat, and dairy products they purchase need to be organic, i.e. deprived of any detrimental herbicides, hormones or pesticides.
Watch your step
Another way running can destroy the environment is through using unmarked paths. These are often full of wildflowers and even protected plant species. Stepping over the while running spell their doom so you effectively destroying priceless flora in the region. Additionally, if the ground gets thread upon often, then nothing will spout from it, turning precious humus into nothing more than dirt. This then gets blown by winds and people inhale these fine dust particles, causing respiratory problems. In winter, once grassy land can turn into mud after it had been pummeled by feet of thousands of runners the previous summer. These are all reasons why it is smart to stick to paths that are designated for runners in parks and on other public places.
Running gear is available at pretty much every shopping mall but this is not where green runners dress. They rather choose brands such as Rockay who take great care of the environmental impact clothes production leaves on the planet. This includes producing clothes from biodegradable materials, like organic cotton and reusing old clothes to manufacture new pieces of garment. Furthermore, high-quality polyester is made from plastic recycled from the ocean and the rest is outsourcers from recycling facilities. If you shop wisely, the plastic bottle of juice you threw away 5 years ago might return to you in the form of running socks or a phone armband.
Speaking of smartphones, you are not very likely to see one on a green runner. Despite the modernization of sports and thousands of gadgets on the market that measure everything from your heart beat to the average speed you have traveled at, running green is a low-tech activity. A watch or an odd cellphone is the most you’ll of modern technology that green runners have strapped to their body. It is not about keeping track of burnt calories, mileage nor the time elapsed but about the sense of enjoyment. You need to enjoy running through nature to the fullest, which is kind of hard if you’re looking at your wrist every 30 seconds or so.
An endless source of water
We have mentioned earlier that single-use plastic bottles are becoming a real environmental issue. Unfortunately, they are runners’ favorite because they are so cheap and available at every store. However, green runners fight the impulse to bulk buy them, as a single water bottle can be used several times over. These bottle called bidons are not expensive and you can have two for sanitary reasons. This way, you will always have at least one bottle free to grab when you go running in the park. Look for multiple-use water bottles that are biodegradable, so you won’t hurt the environment when you discard them.
The car is dormant in the garage
Few of us have suitable running paths within walking distance from our house. Many imprudent runners turn on the car to get a track which is ludicrous. The pollution you help generate commuting to and fro the running track annuls the effect of running as a healthy sport. Use a bike or public transport to get to the park or the key where there are running paths. Green runners are very aware of this issue, so parking lots near the events they organize are mostly empty because participants walk, cycle or take a bus to get to the venue.
Although green runners are focused on a single sport, we can learn so much from their lifestyle. Recycling, reusing, no technology, and going green are all concepts that we, ordinary folks can incorporate into our daily routines. Wouldn’t it be cool to wear green clothes that you know won’t take centuries to biodegrade?
Morgan Rose Elliott is an aromatherapist, yoga instructor, animal lover, a happily married mother of two. She enjoys reading biographies and writing poems, sunny days on the beach and any shape and form of vanilla. Crazy about the ’80s, her favorite band is Duran Duran and she is obsessed with Netflix original Stranger things.