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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!

TMW - Tent in use

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

Great Kickoff to 2019: Frosty Freestyle Sustainability Report

There was no natural snow on the ground, but the lodge had made enough to cover the race course. It was a bit unusual to see a white stripe on the exposed green and brown golf course, but it was fine for skiing. So the Frosty Freestyle races went on, and the Zero Waste team was there to keep it all clean.

Continue reading “Great Kickoff to 2019: Frosty Freestyle Sustainability Report”

Damn Good Year! 2018 in Review

What a year! Here are the results from events serviced by Happy Planet Running in 2018, with 95 percent average landfill diversion! Here’s the breakdown by waste stream.

pie chart - 2018 waste stream totals

By the numbers:

Number of events: 34
Total attendance: 48,000
Total waste managed: 15,700 lbs. (nearly eight tons!)

Best events: RF Events Flirt with Dirt, the Epic Races Hot Cocoa Classic, and the Upland Hills 5K/10K, all with less than a pound of landfill trash!

Maker:L,Date:2017-9-7,Ver:5,Lens:Kan03,Act:Kan02,E-Y

Thanks so much to my clients RF Events, Epic Races, Girls on the Run SE Michigan, Upland Hills School, and the Ann Arbor Track Club. In an economic environment where it’s still cheaper to throw things away than to recycle, these organizations have chosen to put our natural environment first, and have made an investment in sustainability. And the athletes showed their appreciation at every event!

2019 promises to be another busy year for Happy Planet Running, with the added challenge of an uncertain recycling market. So we’ll look for overall waste reduction and a shift toward more compostable materials where possible.

And in the breaking news department: RF Events is making one of their trail running series CUPLESS this year! Check it out at their Trail Marathon website.

Now for the shameless plug. Do you know of an event that could benefit from Zero Waste practices? Drop me an email on the Contact HPR page and let me know how Happy Planet Running can help!

Palm Beach Turkey Trot - Sam next to trash can
Don’t let your event be like this!

Holiday Hustle 2018 Sustainability Report

It was Hustle time in downtown Dexter, with a beautiful sunny afternoon highlighting the colorful decorations and the costumes of runners. But it was cold, which was a challenge for those working the race instead of running it.

Challenges for the Zero Waste team include setting up in the cold, takedown in the dark and cold, and waste that piles up quickly from the stations and the food and registration tents, Still, in 2017 we ended up with just five pounds of landfill. How did we do this year? See below!

Continue reading “Holiday Hustle 2018 Sustainability Report”

Stuff Turkeys, not Trash Bags! Ann Arbor Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot Sustainability Report

What’s one way to really appreciate a hot Thanksgiving Day dinner with family and friends? Run a cold 5K in the morning!

This Thanksgiving Day 3,400 runners toed the line in downtown Ann Arbor for a turkey trot and warmed up with cookies, coffee, and hot chocolate afterward. So despite hand and feet-numbing cold, the Zero Waste team had to be on the job. Last year we kept the total landfill trash under three pounds and achieved 99 percent diversion Could we repeat it? Find out below!

Continue reading “Stuff Turkeys, not Trash Bags! Ann Arbor Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot Sustainability Report”

Cold Turkey? Epic Races Turkey Trot Sustainability Report

The metropark was covered in snow from the night before, but the Turkey Trot went on as scheduled, and some folks were brave enough to earn an “Iron Turkey” by running both the 5K and 10K. But there was hot food and a wood-burning stove waiting to warm up the runners, and the Zero Waste team was there to make sure the day wasn’t spoiled with a lot of trash. See how we did below!

Continue reading “Cold Turkey? Epic Races Turkey Trot Sustainability Report”

Choc Up Another Good Race! Hot Cocoa Classic Sustainability Report

How do you attract runners to a November morning race with a steep climb in it? With chocolate, of course! With a “chocolate aid station” and hot cocoa for recovery, several hundred people cheerfully ran or walked up and down the Mt. Brighton ski hill.

The challenge for the Zero Waste team is handling a lot of waste in a short window, as the resort opens for general business later in the morning. Could we match, and even improve, last year’s landfill diversion of over 98 percent? Read on to find out!

Continue reading “Choc Up Another Good Race! Hot Cocoa Classic Sustainability Report”

Scared Trashless! Run Scream Run 2018 Sustainability Report

Imagine 1,500 monsters running through a haunted orchard, hungry for cider and donuts afterward. But there’s something even scarier than a haunted orchard, and that’s a haunted orchard full of litter.

Who you gonna call? TRASH BUSTERS!

Was the Zero Waste team frightened by all the scary runners and their trash? We ain’t afraid of no ghosts! Continue reading “Scared Trashless! Run Scream Run 2018 Sustainability Report”

Slam that Cider! Scrumpy Skedaddle 2018 Sustainability Report

The Scrumpy Skedaddle is a lot of fun, but also challenging to the Zero Waste team. A lot of people are served pancakes and cider in a short time, there’s a lot of cardboard to take care of, and the waste bins are very popular with the local yellow jackets. This year rain was also a real possibility, but the races went on!

The ZW team planned a couple of logistical changes to stay a) dry and b) on top of things. How did they work? Find out below! Continue reading “Slam that Cider! Scrumpy Skedaddle 2018 Sustainability Report”

Lots of Love and Running, Not Much Waste! Run Woodstock 2018 Sustainability Report

The music was grooving, the weather was cool, and the trails were in top condition. Sounds like a perfect recipe for a weekend of camping and trail running! And so it proved for this year’s Run Woodstock at Hell Creek Ranch.

But with a record number of campers, could the Zero Waste Team stay on top of things all the way from Friday afternoon through Sunday morning? A trashed campground would be most uncool, so it was on us to keep the right vibe. How did we do? Find out below!

Continue reading “Lots of Love and Running, Not Much Waste! Run Woodstock 2018 Sustainability Report”

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