Five Ways Runners Can Get Eco-Friendly

In honour of Earth Day last week, here are five tips to help runners be eco-friendly.

1. Extend the life of your running shoes. The usual advice is to replace your shoes every 500 to 800 kilometres or so. Psssh. With daily washings in your washing machine, you can make those shoes last practically forever. Replace them every 5 years or 80,000kms, whichever comes first.

2. “Shop” in bins. Do you have any idea how much food Australians throw away? Neither do I, but I bet it’s a lot. Do your part to reduce and reuse when it comes to nutrition – bypass the front door of the supermarket and go round back. Some diligent “Dumpster diving” will yield a veritable cornucopia of food products, including fresh produce, some of which may barely be rotting! And remember: Expiration dates are only guidelines. That case of expired energy bars is just fine. Probably.

3. Race locally. When you travel far to a race, your carbon footprint is huge. Instead, run races in your own backyard. If your backyard isn’t large enough to host a race, move into a bigger house with several acres of property, then organise a race in your backyard and run that race.

4. Cut your “energy” expenditures. All those fancy gadgets – running watches, GPS units, iPods – suck up a surprising amount of power, and/or add toxic batteries to our landfills. The good news is, you don’t need to buy any of these items to enjoy running. Just borrow them from friends.

5. Make your own running clothing. Producing, shipping, and marketing running gear comes with a high environmental price tag. Why not make your own? Simply create several bolts of your own polyester by mixing ethylene glycol and dimethyl terephthalate together. Heat the resulting substance (bisterephthalate) to 270° F to form polyethylene terephthalate. Use an extruder to produce fine threads, which you can then knit into fabric. Then cut and sew your fabric into shirts, singlets, etc. Voila! You’re good to go.

Subscribe to Runner's World

Related Articles