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Happy Planet Running

Run a great race. Leave no trace.

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landfill diversion

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!
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Happy Planet Running Receives Environmental Awareness Award!

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.

Firecracker 5K - single bag of trash
2017 Firecracker 5K: Total event trash held up with two pinkies!

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!

No Sour Grapes! Running Between the Vines Achieves 99 Percent Diversion

Attempting Zero Waste at a race that also involves wining and dining 2,000 people? No problem! A beautiful morning for a challenging set of races, and despite being up to our epaulets in cardboard, the Zero Waste team achieved a high for the year in waste diversion. Read on to see how we did it!

Continue reading “No Sour Grapes! Running Between the Vines Achieves 99 Percent Diversion”

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!

Continue reading “Kaboom! Firecracker 5K hits 99 Percent Diversion”

2017 Ann Arbor Marathon Achieves 96% Landfill Diversion

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

Race Overview

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!

Continue reading “2017 Ann Arbor Marathon Achieves 96% Landfill Diversion”

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