Runner at Large

My whole life, I have viewed runners with a sense of awe. Now I am one of those, and I am extremely proud to be considered a runner.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Is Green the new Black?

It seems that everyone is going “green”. Our church impliments green initiatives wherever possible. Recycling is now the cool thing to do, and Dave seems to think if he leaves his cell phone charger plugged in, he is single-handedly ruining the environment (yet will leave his TV and lights on all night long). Styrofoam is becoming the new profanity, and I can now say I love to shop at thrift stores with pride—because instead of being cheap, I’m now being “environmentally conscious”.

It’s not a surprise, then, that I saw the running community heading in the same direction, with The Greenteam, runners who also want to make a difference and save the plant. I believe in saving the environment. I’m not as gung-ho as I probably should be—I’m a bit more cynical and tend to question how I am making a difference by the small decisions I make, but I do try to make an honest effort where I can, and when asked should we save the planet or let it crumble, I'm all for saving it. (With that said, I refuse to accept a paperless society; I will print everything three or four times and file it away in three or four places, according to subject, date, recipient, etc.) But I do understand the importance of not being stupid, so I decided to check out the site and see what it was all about.

Basically, it is a microsite from Runner’s World, and gives runners the options for organic nutritional bars and recipes, and spins off on basic running advice (training plans, shoe guides, etc). The most interesting part of it, however, was the section on “Green Races” (and I didn’t think they were referring to the St. Patty’s Day marathon, but turns out that one is considered a “Green Race”…quite fitting).

So what makes a race “Green”? Running is already one of the most environmentally-friendly activities—it requires very little financially, there is no extra electricity or power required, no gas or diesel, and limited garbage (shame on anyone tossing their gel wrappers to the side of the road…oops, shame on Maggie).

To truly be a “Green Race”, initiatives include having recycling containers along the race course, organic T-shirts and food options, sustainable race bags (they make great options for carrying your groceries home), recycled paper for the flyers and entry forms, email versus postal whenever possible, and bike police instead of pace cars.

It’s an interesting concept. And perhaps I should be a bit more aware of what I do—one of the biggest attractions for running is being outside. My favorite runs are on back roads in nature, or on trails. The quiet and solitude is terrific, and I would be the first to admit the horror of it should that all disappear one day. I will supplement my retirment one day by winning races in my age group (it's easy when there are two other 90 years olds), so I plan on running outside for quite a few more years (God willing). I’m also a big advocate of if you like it, support it. So maybe it’s time I stop being blind, stop telling myself one person change things, and step up and decide to help preserve nature so I can continue to enjoy it.


Post a Comment

<< Home