What more appropriate day than Mother’s Day to celebrate Mother Earth by having a 5K that was about as close to true zero waste as you can get? Read on to see how we did it!
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!
From the Totally Unexpected News desk: I’ve won an award!
The Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors (AAABoR) has selected HPR to receive its Eunice L. Burns Environmental Awareness Award for 2018.
The award recognizes HPR for developing Zero Waste programs for local running events such as the Ann Arbor Marathon and the Dexter and Ann Arbor Turkey Trots. In 2017 HPR helped 30 events recycle and compost over 15,000 pounds (nearly eight tons) of event waste that would otherwise have gone to a landfill.
The award will be presented at the AAABoR General Membership Meeting in January. I’ll provide details after the date is confirmed, and again after the ceremony.
More information about the award, and its past recipients, can be found on the award’s web page here.
Many thanks to Mary at Epic Races for nominating HPR and to AAABoR for selecting me!
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?
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!
Date: March 26, 2017
Event company: Epic Races, Ann Arbor MI
Location: Downtown Ann Arbor, MI
# Attendees: 2,500 runners + staff + spectators
Zero Waste Team volunteers: 4
The Ann Arbor Marathon is a 5K, 10K, half marathon, and full marathon that takes place in downtown Ann Arbor and surrounding neighborhoods. Despite a chilly and rainy forecast, a large number of enthusiastic runners showed up and sprinted past Happy Planet Running’s “Ground Zero” sorting station on Main Street about one mile into their various races.
The rain held off until about 10:30, but conditions deteriorated steadily afterwards. By early afternoon, everything and everyone was wet and cold. And the Zero Waste effort was short by two key volunteers. Final cleanup promised to be no fun whatever – but it was a walk on the beach compared to what I found the next day!
Date: March 12, 2017
Event company: RF Events, Ann Arbor MI
Location: Downtown Ann Arbor, MI
# Attendees: 1,500 runners
Zero Waste Team volunteers: 6
Shamrocks & Shenanigans is one of a myriad of St. Patrick’s Day races (but of course the RF Events one is the best). Some people run it seriously; we had a new record finish this year of 15:12! For others it’s an excuse to dress in green and drink beer in the morning. This race accommodates both types of runners. Hell, what do we care? But given the frigid temps, would we get our usual festive crowd of fast Irishmen, fair redheaded maids, and little leprechauns? And would enough volunteers be there to ensure the end of the rainbow wasn’t full of trash?