How to be a Greener Runner
To mark Global Recycling Day we've been giving some thought to how we can all become greener runners.
Run/walk rather than drive for shorter journeys
As we gradually return to the workplace as pandemic restrictions ease it’s a great time to consider integrating more running or walking into our commutes. According to the most recent figures from the Department of Transport the average length of a car journey in the UK is just 22 minutes. That won’t get you far on a city commute! And why stop at the work commute – next time you're about to drive to the shops or to visit friends or family why not reach for your trainers rather than your car keys?
Make race days greener
For many of us racing is a big part of our running life. Options for a greener race day include – a gentle jog or cycle to the start (and get a built in warm up); car pooling (with built in post-race analysis); and public transport. Big races can also generate an awful lot of litter. So for longer, hotter races consider a Camelback or equivalent hydration system – you’ll be more independent as well. And why not switch commercial energy bars for home-made ones – you’ll save money and you’ll know exactly what you’re eating. Runner’s World have some great recipes.
Keep your kit longer
Relative to many sports running doesn’t require loads of gear so the biggest single thing we can do is to buy well-made kit and use it for longer. Also consider getting garments repaired as they get older. Most dry cleaners offer garment repair services from sewing small tears right through to replacing faulty zips.
Always research how kit you are considering is made. Are the fabrics made from recycled materials? Plenty will be as this is becoming increasingly mainstream. The amount of water required in fabric production also varies hugely, depending on the fabrics composition and the amount of dye used. So look out for certifications such as Bluesign (our lightweight Durham t-shirts for example) and EMAS ( see our Thorpe merino tops) which guarantee the highest environmental and ethical standards in fabric production.
Recycle your running shoes
The one item you shouldn’t hold on to for ages because of the injury risk is your trainers, but it’s really worth trying to recycle them as many of their components take a long time to decompose in landfills. So take your old trainers to your local recycling centre or, better still, see whether your running shop offers trainer recycling.
If you have any other ideas about how we can all become greener, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add your ideas to our blog. Thank you.