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Happy Planet Running

Run a great race. Leave no trace.

Happy Trails: The Legend races achieve 97 Percent Diversion

An absolutely perfect morning for a race at Sleepy Hollow State Park, and another great Zero Waste result. (Pictured: our race director holding the single bag of trash from a 650-person race.)

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The Zen of Zero Waste: An Evening at Robin Hills Farm

Organic, sustainable farming is growing in popularity. But how many places do you know who combine farming with education, family activities, and even athletic events? Well, there’s one just north of Chelsea, MI – right in my backyard – doing exactly that.

Robin Hills Farm was just scrubland in 2014 when the land was purchased, but it’s rapidly turning into a cutting-edge operation with diverse farming practices working together. Their focus is on zero – zero net energy, zero waste – using one product of the growing cycle to sustain another part.

When I happened across Robin Hills Farm on Facebook and saw they were hosting a “Zen Triathlon” in partnership with Breathe Yoga, I had to find out more. So I emailed them, and not only did they invite me out to show me what they’re doing, they hired me to handle the zero waste activities for the event! So I packed up my trusty Jeep and headed out there the afternoon of the event.

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Ober the Top! Sustainability Wins at the Oberun 5K

The adage was proven again! Heavily market a 5K and you’ll get a decent turnout; whisper “5K and beer” and they’ll beat down the door, especially if the beer is Oberon. This race sold out weeks before the actual event. With a warm evening forecast, and with post-race food including pizza, the beer cans promised to be flying off the tables. Could our intrepid Zero Waste team keep up with the rush? Read on and see!

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Getting down! Pterodactyl Tri achieves 94% Diversion

When the T-rex dances, you know there’s something to celebrate! Another successful sprint triathlon on a gorgeous evening, and another great Zero Waste result.

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Sustainability Report: Huron River Day

I’m pleased to pass along this sustainability report from last week’s Huron River Day in Ann Arbor. I was there as an informal volunteer, “talking trash” with the fine folks at Zero Waste Washtenaw who were managing the sustainability activities.

Huron River Day - Me at Zero Waste station
Helping get stuff put where it belongs. (Photo courtesy of Noelle.)

A large crowd came to Gallup Park to kayak, play games, eat, and enjoy a perfect summer afternoon. And for the first time at this event, Zero Waste stations were set up to save recyclable and compostable materials from the landfill. And they achieved 86% diversion, an excellent first-year result!

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Kaboom! Firecracker 5K hits 99 Percent Diversion

What’s better than a Fourth of July 5K followed by a parade? A Fourth of July 5K that left no trash behind. That’s worth celebrating!

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Simply Divine: Tri Goddess Achieves 94% Diversion

Goddess Tri? Goddess(es) did! Have a great event, and recover a lot of waste, that is.

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ROAR! Triceratops Tri achieves 95% Diversion

A famous long-extinct species was spotted everywhere at last week’s Triceratops Triathlon. But you know what’s hardly seen these days at an RF Events race? Garbage! Sending piles of event waste to a landfill is on its way to sharing the fate of the dinosaurs, although I doubt any future triathlons will be named after it.

So how did we host and feed 450 hungry triathletes while keeping a beautiful park pristine and the dumpsters empty? Read on!

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Freedom from Waste: Liberty Festival achieves 97% Diversion

Oh say, can you see. . .any trash? Not at this race!

Sustainability Report: Liberty Festival Races 2017
Date: June 17, 2017
Event company: RF Events, Ann Arbor MI
Location: Heritage Park, Canton MI
# Attendees: 1,200 runners
Zero Waste Team volunteers: 2

Race Overview

The races are part of a weekend-long Liberty Festival held by the city of Canton at Heritage Park. There are carnival rides and attractions, a vintage car show, and more.

The races kick off with a 5K, followed by a 10K. Faster runners can sign up to run both races (called the “Uncle Sam Slam”) and get a special additional finishers award. Later in the morning there’s a one-mile kids fun run. After the races, runners often go elsewhere in the park to enjoy the festival’s other activities.

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