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Happy Planet Running

Run a great race. Leave no trace.

HPR Mission

Running is good for people. It should be good for the Earth, too! Click the photo for a video that shows what Happy Planet Running is all about – and how the Can’d Aid Foundation can help you get started with a Zero Waste program!

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This site promotes and supports running events that are environmentally friendly, energy frugal, and as waste-free as possible, while providing a great experience for everyone involved – runners, spectators, and volunteers.

Sound good? Are you hooked? Browse this site and find out what’s happening with sustainable running. And if you know something we don’t, please give us a holler and enlighten us!
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Featured post

Slam that Cider! Scrumpy Skedaddle 2017 Zero Waste Report

A perfect fall morning, a run through an apple orchard, pancakes, and the best draft hard cider on the planet. That’s as good as it gets, folks. And this year, over 2,000 people showed up at Almar Orchards in Flushing to run, eat, and imbibe.

The Scrumpy Skedaddle is a great race, but last year it posed some real challenges to the Zero Waste team. A lot of people were served in a short time, the waste materials needed heavy sorting, we were short on volunteers, and we had to pull hundreds of individual butter packets out of the food waste and recycle bins, trying not to piss off carb-loading yellow jackets buzzing everywhere.

Could things go more smoothly this time? Read on!
Continue reading “Slam that Cider! Scrumpy Skedaddle 2017 Zero Waste Report”

Can You Recycle Race Bibs? Yes!

Good news from the Zero Waste Running department: one more thing that has been going to the landfill at our events turns out to be recyclable!

I’m talking about a particular item familiar to people who run races of all distances. (See the featured photo if you need a hint.) Read on to find out how to recycle them!

Continue reading “Can You Recycle Race Bibs? Yes!”

Down and Dirty: Dances with Dirt – Hell 2017

Dances with Dirt – Hell is an excuse for several thousand people to dress up in wild costumes, run a few miles on trails, get dirty, and then consume a lot of beer. Hundreds of relay teams and a few brave solo ultrarunners carve their way through the Pinckney recreation area – some of it actually intended to be trail, some perhaps not.

Last year the Zero Waste team had a “hell” of a time when the exit rush occurred, getting “swamped” with pizza boxes and beer bottles. We managed a diversion percentage in the 80s but quite a bit of recoverable material ended up in the trash dumpster when we ran out of time to properly sort the recyclables, and out of bins for the food waste. Could we do better this year?

Continue reading “Down and Dirty: Dances with Dirt – Hell 2017”

Hear Them Roar! Detroit Women’s Half Marathon Sustainability Report

What happens when you take 1,000 women, give them coffee and chocolate, and blast the Katy Perry music? A half marathon breaks out! Would the Zero Waste team pick up enough of that energy to stay on top of the trash? Read on to find out!

Continue reading “Hear Them Roar! Detroit Women’s Half Marathon Sustainability Report”

Peace, Love, and Zero Waste: Run Woodstock Sustainability Report

Billed as, “a weekend of peace, love, music, and running,” Run Woodstock is the largest RF Events race of the year. It also generates the most waste of the year, with enough work to keep the Zero Waste team busy from setup on Thursday through takedown on Sunday.

In 2016 we achieved 88% landfill diversion and filled a 40-yard recycling rolloff to the top. How could we improve on that? Read on to see what we did, and if it worked!

Continue reading “Peace, Love, and Zero Waste: Run Woodstock Sustainability Report”

Third Time’s the Charm! T-Rex Tri achieves 97.5% Diversion

The final race of the T-Rex series of sprint triathlons this year takes place on a perfect summer evening, and results in the best Zero Waste result of the three.

Continue reading “Third Time’s the Charm! T-Rex Tri achieves 97.5% Diversion”

No Sour Grapes! Running Between the Vines Achieves 99 Percent Diversion

Attempting Zero Waste at a race that also involves wining and dining 2,000 people? No problem! A beautiful morning for a challenging set of races, and despite being up to our epaulets in cardboard, the Zero Waste team achieved a high for the year in waste diversion. Read on to see how we did it!

Continue reading “No Sour Grapes! Running Between the Vines Achieves 99 Percent Diversion”

“Best race EVER!” Swim to the Moon Sustainability Report

“This is the best race EVER!” a woman excitedly told me at the Zero Waste station. “You guys thought of everything! And recycling, too!”

Realistically, the Zero Waste program at Swim to the Moon played only a small part of a very well-run event. Most of her thanks belongs to the first-rate staff of Epic Races and their volunteers. Still, I’d like to think seeing the recycling and composting bins was what drove her over the top.

So was her exuberant statement justified? Read on to find out!

Continue reading ““Best race EVER!” Swim to the Moon Sustainability Report”

Sustainability Report: Red Carpet Run 2017

What’s better than a gala affair with fancy dress and champagne? A gala affair that involves running, of course. And responsible, sustainable waste management for that special extra touch..

Continue reading “Sustainability Report: Red Carpet Run 2017”

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