Happy Planet Running

Run a great race. Leave no trace.


Sustainability Reports

A Green Race Indeed! Shamrocks & Shenanigans 5K Sustainability Report

A big, fast race on a cold day downtown, and two volunteers had to manage the entire Zero Waste effort. It would be hard to beat last year’s 96.7 percent landfill diversion with under six pounds of trash. Would they be flying it, or would it be a scundered bollox job? See below!

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Could You Cover Your Glass, Please? Super 5K Sustainability Report

A snowy Sunday morning in Michigan, but over 1,000 runners came out to get in a 5K before the Big Game. And all of them would want to grab hot dogs, cookies, pint glasses and awards, and be on their way soon afterward. In past years the rush has been very challenging for the Zero Waste team. Could we keep up this year, and improve on last year’s 93 percent diversion? We were going to find out!

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Big Feet, Small Footprint: Bigfoot Snowshoe Race Sustainability Report

The snow had mostly melted south of Traverse City, but at Timber Ridge there was hard pack on the groomed trails and deep dry powder in the singletrack sections. Perfect for a snowshoe race! Temperatures in the 30s meant some racers ran in T-shirts and shorts, but the lines for the post-race chili were as long as ever. The Zero Waste team had to be on their toes! Could we improve on last year’s 86 percent diversion, and avoid any unpleasant surprises?

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Brrr! Holiday Hustle Sustainability Report

It was Holiday Hustle time in Dexter, where several thousand diehard runners showed up, hustled their way through a mile or three, and then hustled out of there. And supporting them was over a hundred diehard staff and volunteers determined to help them enjoy the experience.

The Zero Waste team was fired up to finish the year on a strong note. But a late afternoon winter race meant a dark, cold takedown. And we had to keep moving fast just to stay warm. Did we get everything taken care of before we all turned into ice sculptures? Yes! – sort of. Read on!

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Cold Turkey, Hot Chocolate, Zero Waste

A cold, blustery morning didn’t stop thousands of people from packing downtown Ann Arbor for the annual Turkey Trot. With a hot chocolate and coffee station for the runners, we promised to be awash in cups, as well as bananas, cookies, and cardboard from all the boxes.

We learned last year that making the race waste go where we wanted was not easy. But this year we came in with a new plan and a bigger team. Could we get everything cleaned up, sorted, and disposed of before the football games and the afternoon gorging?

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Worth Gobbling About! A2 Turkey Trot Sustainability Report

Baby, it was cold outside! But due to their dedication to the great sport of running, hundreds of people came out to run at Hudson Mills anyway. Or maybe it was the Ray’s Red Hots, hot chocolate and pumpkin pie. Either way, the Zero Waste team had a job to do. How’d we manage? Smooth as gravy! Read on.

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Sweet Success! Hot Cocoa Classic Sustainability Report

How do you get several hundred people to show up on a cold, gray morning and climb a steep hill to begin a run? Promise them hot chocolate afterward! With a lot of food and drink being consumed in a short time, could the Zero Waste effort keep up? With a good process and thoughtful use of materials, the answer was Yes. Read on for how we did it.

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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!
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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?

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