Run Hard but Keep Your Carbon Footprint Light: Green Running

Choose Green Races

Fortunately we're all smartening up and more and more events are going green. Though there's always more that event directors can do, green events usually incorporate biodegradable products like utensils, plates, banners, toilet paper, paper towels, soap, recycled materials, solar energy and fewer cars, no plastic water bottles, clothing and shoe drives, organic and natural food and other organically made products as well as reusable products like race bags.

More: How to Race Green

Pay to Run

When possible, run in some sort of state park, national park or nature preserve where you may have to purchase a pass. Trail running to go green may seem counter intuitive, with more damage and use on the trails, but your fee dollars will help to preserve that natural area. Many parks also offer paved roads through their peaceful and scenic land. Either way, not only are you helping to upkeep these oases of nature in our industrialized world but you're allowing yourself the opportunity to appreciate the natural world and fresh air that so many take for granted.

More: Grab some shoes for off-terrain running, so long as you treat the trails well.

Don't Drive

Many people have specific areas where they like to run, like around lakes, along the shoreline of bays and beaches or in parks (see above)...and they aren't always close enough to home to run there. If possible, start your run right out your front door or ride a bike there.

Don't Throw out Your Old Clothes

Find a shoe recycling program for your old sneakers and donate or sell your old clothes. Race tees piling up? You don't need to throw them out either. There are plenty of crafts you can put together with all your memorabilia.

More: What to Do With All Your Old Race Tees

Recycle Your Electronics

Everything—watches, earphones, mp3 playes, ipods, heart rate monitors. Find an electronics recycling center or drop off near you. Whatever you do, do not let that stuff go out with the trash.

More: Surf Green

Eat Healthier

For the most part, what's good for our bodies is also good for our planet. Eating local, fresh, organic and whole foods that haven't been overly processed, packaged and transported fuels your body in a cleaner, healthier and more efficient way which will make for a better, stronger and faster performance. You'll have more energy, your body will feel strong and you'll ultimately leave a lighter carbon footprint in your wake.

<!--<p><strong>More:</strong> <a title="ways to eat green" href="/protect-your-playground/articles/9-Ways-to-Eat-Green.htm"><em>Ways to Eat Green </em></a></p>-->

More: Brown paper bags are things of the past. Best to pack your lunch in one of these.

Give a Hoot

Forget the watch for a couple of minutes—while you're logging in those miles every week, stop and pick up some trash along the way.

More: Try Trail Running

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