Something that is very important to many of us is being an educated, informed, and conscious consumer, especially during the holidays when we might be making more purchases. More and more races are becoming aware of how much waste and trash their events produce, and we as individual runners are as well. To be Eco-friendly, means to leave as little mark on our environment as possible. One way of doing this is to reuse, recycle, and reduce.
To be honest, I feel a little sick to my stomach around the holidays when I hear stories of people shoving and pushing each other to grab the greatest Black Friday deal, or when I have to take on more plastic Dollar Store toys that my kids bring home from a party, only to have them break and be thrown in a landfill somewhere.
You may be asking yourself, “what can I do to be a more Eco Friendly ?” Every little thing you do matters. You don’t need be Leonardo DiCaprio and change your entire life, you can start small and build up. Just like with running, something is better than nothing. Start by reading about companies that are making changes, and doing the right thing for their employees, the environment, and the world. Companies like Newton Running, who sell an amazing running shoe and are a Certified B Corporation– what’s that you ask? Take a look HERE.
Here are few eco friendly holiday gift ideas for runners:
Support Responsible Companies
Newton – This small Boulder Colorado based firm is the first running shoe company to achieve the status of Certified B Corporation. That means they have passed a certification that exemplifies their commitment to meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency based on assessment from the non-profit B Lab. Check out their wide selection of shoes, apparel, and accessories for both men and women right HERE.
Patagonia – Another environmental and socially responsible company who offers a wide selection of running apparel and accessories for male and female runners such as the Velocity Tight for Women and Men. Or if you don’t like tights the Hybrid Soft Shell Wind Pants for Men and Women.
Atayne – Another Certified B Corporation, Atayne offers a variety of men’s and women’s running apparel as well as the option to create your own custom items. I loved this long sleeved shirt made from 100% recycled jersey knit fabric with a quote by Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Go for Sustainable Products
I Make The Case – Daniel Safkow offers a wide array of bamboo phone cases for many different models. I love to buy items on esty, because I know the money is going to individual, hard working artisans. Who wouldn’t love to open this gorgeous 26.2 cover on Christmas morning?
HybridLight Headlamp – For those of who run in the wee hours of the morning, or at night, this hybrid headlamp uses solar power to charge and can also be plugged into your car lighter as a back up.
Thunderbird Bars – These make a great stocking stuffer for anyone, and they really do work great as fuel on a long run. They are 100% soy free, dairy free, gluten free, and have no added sugar. Thunderbird bars provide the same clean burning fuel humans have enjoyed over the last 10,000 years. Plus, their wrapper is 100% biodegradable and compostable – now that is a responsible company!
Amphipod Handheld water bottles – stop buying throwaway plastic water bottles and electrolyte drinks and use a refillable handheld instead. This one by Amphipod is BPA free and 100% recyclable, so when it wears out you can dispose of it in a responsible way. There are many companies that sell electrolytes that can be added to your bottle. Two that I use, and which work very well, are Nuun tablets and Skratch Labs.
Don’t Just Recycle, Repurpose
Mile 22 Bags – Repurpose your old race numbers! Send them in to Mile 22 and they will make you an incredible bag. I’ve had mine for 2 years and it’s still going strong. I LOVE this bag, and I am sure your runner will too. There are styles for men and women.
Project Repat – This company will turn your old race t-shirts into a nostalgic quilt. You could stare at a drawer full of old T-shirts, donate them to the already full Salvation Army, or repurpose them and have yourself a cozy quilt.
Be Clutter Free With Non Tangible Items
Massage – Buy a gift card for a local massage therapist. As runners we could all use work on our tired legs and back.
Pedicure – I don’t know one runner who’s feet are not worn down, blistered, black toe nails, and in need of TLC. Male or female, a gift card to get a pedicure would be a welcome gift.
Runner’s Connect Gift Cards – Runner’s Connect is a company that offers online courses given by experts on many things such as nutrition, running form, and strength training. A gift card allows the athlete to select which course is right for them and is not cluttering their home with more “stuff.”
Race Entries to Eco Friendly Races – Runner’s world published this article about 10 “Green Races” – reading that is a good place to start, but you can do a web search for environmentally friendly races in your area, as well. Supporting events that are making changes to make racing more earth conscious, is a small way of putting pressure on other events to follow suit.
How about you? What small changes do you recommend or practice yourself to become a more responsible runner?