Am I "Green" enough?

As I was flipping through a back issue of Runner's World magazine I stumbled upon an article that caught my eye: The Runner's Footprint (read the article here). In short it discussed the environmental impact of running, taking a closer look at everything from running shoes to races. And it left me thinking..in a world that needs all the help it can get is my sport of choice helping or hindering efforts to "Go Green"?

Then I flipped to the back of the article where it listed 30 things a regular person like myself can do to make a difference and low and behold I was already doing many of those things! For example:

*Start all your runs from you home or office- I rarely relocate for a run and if I do I usually take public transit.

*Race in your hometown as much as possible- All my races have been in Toronto and the vast majority will be.

*Hold of on new purchases and wear your exercise apparel as long as possible- I have a limited wardrobe for exercise/running because its more cost effective that way

*Eat one less serving of meat per week, which requires more fuel and water to produce than other sources of protein- With the exception of tuna I haven't eaten any meat in weeks

*Run outside rather then on a treadmill- I'd actually prefer it this way

*Wear old shoes casually after they are worn out- I walk the dog in my old ones all the time

*Buy used equipment rather then new-I haven't made the purchase yet but I fully intend to get my bike from the classifieds.

Its interesting to see how little things that you do all the time can really add up. Of course I could be "Greener" and there are a few things I would like to start doing more of such as:

*Use a re-usable water bottle and coffee mug EVERY time

*Wash my gear in cold water and hang to dry

*Buy more local and organic produce

At the end of the day I want my children's children to be able to run on this planet too so if I can make a few changes (and continue to do the things I am already doing) to help make that happen then I am proud to play that part.

So tell me, what do you do daily to be "green". Have you made any changes lately to help change your footprint?



  1. Those are all things that I would never think about as making an impact on being green but they make perfect sense. No reason not to do them.

  2. I do a lot of those things already, which is nice to know that I am making a difference. I also make sure that lights and computers are turned off when I'm not in the room using them. I limit my AC usage for open windows (Hubby hates this)I compost (curbside pickup), and when my car lease is up I'm looking to be less vehicle dependant, and more walking, biking dependant.

  3. I relocate for 2-3 runs per week because I get bored running around my apartment area. Whoops!

    I recycle, I don't eat meat, I use reusable water bottles/coffee mugs, I don't buy new clothes very often... Hmm, there's a few things I do for the environment. Not much, but better than nothing I suppose!

  4. Excellent post that makes some great points. My brother sent me a Camelbak water bottle and I always use that over bottled water. While I'm still a omnivore, I used to eat meat with every single meal, now its more like one serving of day. And I'm surprisingly fine with that. I would say that 70-80% of my food is organic/local, but its difficult financially to go closer to 100%. One day I'd love to start my own organic garden to improve this!

  5. Great post! The one thing I work on constantly is using a reusable bottle. I have one that I use all the time, but sometimes I break down and just buy bottled water!

  6. This is a great list! I abide by most of these (though I do drive the 10 miles to a running trail head at least once a week). One of my favorite things is donating old shoes - all the local running stores around here have bins by the front door for you to collect old shoes that are then passed on to the needy. I mean, heck! They're only 3-4 months old!

  7. The fact that we live in a world that requires us to think about how "green" our running hobby is makes me go, "what on earth has the human race gotten itself into?"

    On the other hand, these are great points. I think our green habits can carry over into our running no prob. It is this way for me at least. The only one I am having trouble with is giving up the plastic water bottles... I'm clinging to their convenience and I need to stop!

  8. I do a lot of those things already, except for buying "used" equipment... mostly because the only equipment I use is running shoes! I prefer running outside, too, and usually start from home rather than driving somewhere to start. I've also started trying to run most of my errands on foot when I can! (grocery shopping, a trip to the post office, etc.)

    I'm working on the re-usable bottles, too! I have two great ones, but I don't remember them *every* time yet...

    Great tips!

  9. Wow, I never about a treadmill not being green -- electricity, hello! :)

  10. wow, those were some good points! as for my own contribution, i only use cloth bags, walk almost everywhere i go, recycle (of course.) one awesome thing about Australia is that every outlet has an off switch, so everything is turned off when not in use. and 90% of toilets have the half-flush option, so that's pretty cool. every little bit counts :)

  11. Britney Spears and Ashlee Simpson are always the first to appear on my ipod. She makes me want to shake my thannngg. W hat can I say? It's motivating!

    Going Green--I bring my own water bottle, coffee cup and grocery bag so I can save some paper and plastic!