It may not surprise you to know that ACE has its fair share of granola-munching, outdoorsy types. It seems like every weekend, someone is snowboarding, surfing, mountain biking, hiking, climbing or running. Take me for example: I am a running freak. I bring my gear into the office almost every day and spend my lunch break running around Oakland’s beautiful Lake Merritt. On the weekends you can find me hitting the pavement in Oakland, exploring Golden Gate Park’s paths, or trying to catch a ride to some trails in the hills.
Obviously, my mood and health have benefited tremendously from my running habit (some may call it an addiction). It’s greener than wasting power at a gym and the vitamin D is a serious bonus. However, it is important to be aware of the ecological footprint you’re leaving behind you. You don’t want to repeat this Earth Day run fiasco in the Philippines.
No one wants to be running through litter. For that matter, we want our trails to be beautiful, our air to be clean and our lungs to be clear. Runners, and outdoor athletes in general, have all the motivation in the world to take care of the environment.
So here are a few things you can do to get your workout in while protecting the planet.
1. Buy a reusable water bottle. They’re easier to carry and it will save you some money. Here’s my personal favorite.
2. If you take food with you on runs or rides, fix up some homemade goodies instead of spending the cash on something made in a lab. It’ll make you feel better, save you money and save the Earth some plastic. Here are some great ideas to get you started.
3. If you’re really into running, check out what ultramarathon champion and vegan, Scott Jurek, has to say about endurance sports and nutrition. His way may not be for everyone, but you can’t deny that it works for him and the planet.
4. If you’re like me and enjoy spending your weekends running a race with thousands of other people, try to support eco-conscious races.
5. Try to run or bike as many errands as possible. Granted, you can’t necessarily run to grab 5 bags of groceries but if you just need to grab stamps, take a jog to the post office. It’ll lower your carbon footprint and help you find some time for that daily workout.
6. Finally, reuse everything you can. When my shoes have too many miles to run in, they’re usually just broken in enough to be perfect walking shoes. If you like your walking shoes to be a little less colorful, donate your used trainers to an organization like Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe.
For more tips, check out this Runner’s World article. Running and outdoor sports may not be everyone’s thing, but if it’s yours, you want to keep this planet healthy so you can enjoy it. These tips will help you do your part. Stay safe out there and keep moving.