Run Hard but Keep Your Carbon Footprint Light: Green Running

Whether you'll only recognize Earth Day on April 22 for 24 hours, celebrate seven days of earth week, make April Earth Month—or if you want to make ecologically responsible choices every day for the rest of your life, practicing green running isn't very hard to implement.

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More: Practicing green running can begin with the most obvious choice: What you wear on your feet.

Even if you don't consider yourself a selfish person, the time and commitment you put into running is all about you. Your personal record, your pace, your gear, your alone time, your ritual—but with just a little bit of thought, effort and planning, some of that "me" time turns into something more selfless. We all know we're at the point where we need to start making some serious moves to preserve this planet. So take a look beyond your watch, that finish line, the road in front of you and appreciate the world around you.

Here are some simple steps you can take to "green" your running experience and habits, and feel good about doing your part.

More: Are You Green?

Drink Responsibly

Don't use plastic bottles ? and definitely don't buy those teeny-tiny ones from the store, no matter how easy they may be to carry. Invest in a few reusable running bottles or a hydration pack. And instead of buying sports drink after sports drink, buy mix for those bottles—but better yet, find a few recipes and make some gels or electrolyte-rich drinks. Embracing that DIY element is always a good way to lighten that carbon footprint just a little bit more.

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More: Minimize consumption and production. Refill and reuse, always.

Your next step is to buy a refillable 5-gallon water jug, a reverse osmosis filtering system, Britta or some other type of filter.

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