THE FOUR PILLARS
THE GREEN RUNNER ETHOS
We think every runner can be a Green Runner!
You don’t need to be perfect, just keep improving by putting the planet first when making decisions.
There are 4 key pillars to being a Green Runner:
1) How YOU Move
2) How YOU Kit-up
3) How YOU Eat
4) How YOU Speak Out
1. How You Move
Our travel has the greatest impact on the environment. Over 90% of an event’s carbon footprint comes from a runner’s travel, with air travel having the biggest impact.
As a Green Runner, you can take these steps to consider and reduce your impact.
Before booking a race or trip, stop and think:
– Will you need to fly to get there?
– Is there an alternative event you can do without flying?
– Can you make the journey by train or car?
– When driving, can you carpool with other runners?
– Can you spend more time there to justify the trip?
– If you need to fly, offset with a genuine offset program – Check out our resources page for a list of offset programmes we recommend – https://thegreenrunners.com/running-related-actions/
As Green Runners, we don’t expect you to never fly.
However, try and make flying a last resort, and be conscious of your travel footprint when filling your calendar.
2. How You Kit-up
As runners we are constantly being bombarded with new kit by brands and runners on social media.
In reality, we probably already have more than enough kit to train nd race effectively.
As a Green Runner, try to question every new purchase:
– Do you need it to run, or do you just want it?
– Do you already own something that serves the same purpose?
– If you genuinely need something, like a bag for your first ultra marathon or poles, can you borrow one until you know you’ll need one regularly?
– If you need to buy one yourself, have you checked online for second-hand kit? There are lots of hardly-used pairs of shoes, bags and other kit on eBay, Gumtree and at ReRun Clothing.
For the kit you already own:
– Look after it to make it last
– Clean your shoes when they’re muddy
– Repair kit if it rips – e.g. shoe patches
– If you have kit you don’t use, sell it online or give it away to help stop someone else buying new kit
Encourage Race Organisers to offer the option for no medal / t-shirt / goodie bag.
If they don’t offer Trees Not Tees or an alternative, contact them to suggest it.
Trees Not Tees gives runners the choice to plant a tree instead of getting a race T-shirt. Which inevitably goes to the back of your wardrobe, never to be seen again!
3. How You Eat
Our diet as runners and in wider society has a considerable impact on the environment.
As runners, this can be divided into:
Your Sports Nutrition
As a Green Runner you should leave no trace on the trails.
Ensure you take all wrappers with you and look to reduce your footprint by making your own bars.
If you use gels, try to find brands with recyclable packaging.
Check out our running-related resources page for the brands we recommend – https://thegreenrunners.com/running-related-actions/
Your Everyday Diet
It’s no secret that meat production has a greater impact on the environment than the equivalent calories from a plant-based diet.
To be a Green Runner, you don’t need to be vegan or even vegetarian (although you certainly can be!). But we suggest that people try to reduce their consumption of meat down to 1 or 2 days per week, and in general focus on higher quality, locally sourced produce wherever possible.
Here are a couple of articles to find out more:
1. How You Speak Out
The final pillar of being a Green Runner is to help spread the word.
Success isn’t a small group of us doing this brilliantly. It’s creating a widespread change across the sporting community to help people to continuously improve whilst still enjoying their sport.
As you grow in confidence as a Green Runner, we encourage you to bring those around you on the journey. And encourage brands and businesses to make the changes you want to see.
Here are some ideas:
– Social Media: When you join The Green Runners, share your pledge on social media and get involved in the conversation in a positive, constructive way. The more people understand what we’re about, the more people will join the mission.
– Running Clubs: If you’re part of a running club, make sure you’re wearing your Green Runners badge with pride, and when the conversation starts, use that as an opportunity to spread the word.
– Events: The races we run have an opportunity to lead the way with sustainability as they have such a big voice. Many are on this journey and some are just getting started. When signing up to races, if there are ways that you feel they can be more sustainable, get in touch with them in a constructive way to encourage them to make changes, referencing other races that are doing it well.
– Brands: Likewise with brands, if you see a brand doing something well, tell them! Spread the word on social media and through reviews, and get in touch with them directly. At the same time, when you see a brand you think should improve – like with their packaging or wider approach to sustainability, get in touch with them in a constructive way.
As individuals we can each change our own approach and have a small impact. As a wider community, we can bring about a much greater change if we use our voices as one.
MORE GOOD STUFF
Check out the latest thoughts and stories from our members
See our recommended tips to start minimising your impact on the world
Running Related Actions
Hear our ideas on how to be climate conscious when running