Easy as 3.14159: Pi Day 5K Sustainability Report

For the first time in several years, Epic Races held their “Pi Day” race in person. (Technically two days early, but hey, it’s running plus pie. Sign me up!) Despite cold temps (13 degrees) and wind, about 200 people showed up at Hudson Mills Park to run the 5K or the kids race.

The race was held at the open-air pavilion instead of the activity center, which was hosting another event. So I did not feel the need to police their trash cans. And most people left right after the race, meaning there wouldn’t have been much to capture.

Post-race food was pancakes and hot chocolate. The finisher pies were individually boxed and most people took them home, which meant less waste at the event.

The biggest source of food waste was from the “Pie Division” runners, who had to eat a pie before they ran the 5K – hands-free, of course. Quite a bit of half-eaten pie was left over. In an inspired move, the contestants were given old T-shirts to wipe their faces with instead of disposables. They could either keep the shirts, or return them to be washed and reused.

There was also a “pie in the face” option at the finish line. Just whipped cream, but it resulted in a number of pie tins needing rinsing out before reuse or recycling.

The recycling total is skewed by 18 pounds of broken finisher medals, three moving metal plates that resemble a slide rule. Each weighed just under half a pound, which translates into about 40 busted medals.

Unique, but apparently not very sturdy.

The Green Team volunteers were cheerful and worked hard despite having to stand around in the cold wind.

Landfill was near zero; just a little bit of tape and waxed paper. Disposable gloves, small plastics, and unused bumper stickers went to TerraCycle.

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