A Green Runner

Despite being done in the outdoors, in fresh air, often in some of the most beautiful, remote natural locations possible, running is actually not a very green sport. Just the failure to have recycling cans at the races are an example of how much waste runners produce. There’s also the resources put into running shoes and our technical devices, not to mention the fact that the more natural a running shirt is (100% cotton), the less enviable it is (especially in 90 degree, south Florida weather). Yet, there are ways we can give back to the community beyond our running one, and be good citizens on a smaller scale.

Off Flickr, not my property. But this image is def. what I thought of when I thought “green runner”


This challenge for myself and for all you other runners was inspired by my last run before my running break. I obviously haven’t been able to act on the inspiration yet, but plan to do so when I can run again.

Basically, along my run I ran into a woman walking her dog. She had two large plastic bags on her that were filled, and she was bending over to pick something off the ground. At first I thought, “what a lot of poop that dog must produce.” Then, as I drew closer to the woman, I realized that she was picking up trash. I couldn’t help, as I ran by her, to say “I like what you’re doing.” “Thanks!” She said. “I do this everyday.”

For the next few meters, I noticed how clean the paths were along which I was running. Then, even further, I saw a plastic water bottle and a wine bottle. It took me a split second to recognize that I could carry these, while running, over to the nearest waste receptacle. And I did. It was even a can that had a compartment for trash as well as recycling. While they were only two items out of dozens that line our paths, it took little effort on my part and already made the route a little cleaner.

When I can run again, I resolve to take at least two trash items off my routes for every run. If we all did that, imagine how much trash we could get of our routes?