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Triceratops Triathlon 2021 Sustainability Report

The RF Events T-Rex Triathlon series was back to normal last Wednesday, after a pint-sized Stegosaurus Tri earlier in June. Back to standard attendance, post-race sandwiches and live music, and the vibe of an athletic event!

With a team of just two people, we set up a single Zero Waste Station near the parking lot, and one in the party area instead of three Zero Hero tents. We focused on keeping the stations in order, and left “all waste” pails in the transition area. A bag for plastic wrap and a large recycling bin near the water bottles completed the setup.

                        Green Team volunteer Veronica mans the main station, while I took the party area station.

The approach had some interesting effects. No one had a problem with using the single station in the party area, and we ended up with less “outside” waste that usually comes from the beachgoers. The transition pails needed quite a bit of sorting and were really not large enough, so we’ll be looking for improvements there. Aid station waste was mainly  ups and water jugs, and did not require much sorting.

The trend chart below the report shows we had a dramatic drop in total waste, particularly food waste and compostables – a 75 percent drop from 2019. One reason was serving sandwiches on napkins – no plates or wrappers – which worked just fine. There also seemed to be less overall food consumed by the athletes. We’ll be looking to see if this continues.

Overall, a great result on a beautiful day!

A Flippin’ Good Time! Scrumpy Skedaddle Sustainability Report

Fall has officially arrived, and it’s peak season at the cider mills. Combine a race with terrific apple cider, pancakes, and live music, and you have a recipe for a very popular event. And so it has proved for the Scrumpy Skedaddle at Almar Orchards. When even the race director (right of stroller) gets into the act with her new baby, you know it’s gotta be good!

Going compostable has reduced overall waste and simplified things for the Zero Waste team, but there’s still plenty of work for them to do. And the very lives of the orchard’s pigs depended on our diligent collection of the leftover food (just ask them). Did we leave the event clean and pigs stuffed? See below!

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In the Deep End: Swim to the Moon 2019 Sustainability Report

The 10th annual Swim to the Moon was, for the athletes, and the charitable camp the race supported, a really good day. It went swimmingly, one might say.

Behind the scenes, things were a bit less serene. A full race field combined with a shortage of volunteers made for a long morning for everyone, including the solo member of the Green Team. In came the waves of waste. Did we get swamped, or climb on top and ride them out? All is revealed below!

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Wine, Dine, and Run: Running Between the Vines 2019 Sustainability Report

What’s better than an early morning run that ends in a vineyard? Getting to have wine afterwards, of course – with live jazz and food thrown in. And you get a shirt, and a race-branded wine goblet to enjoy the vintages of your choice!

With all that pampering comes hundreds of pounds of cardboard boxes, banana peels, water bottles, cups, and other stuff that, for some reason, the runners would rather not take with them. So it’s up to the Zero Waste team to make sure as much of that as possible is returned to productive use instead of the landfill.

With a large turnout and a small team, were we up to the challenge? Find out below.

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The Legend 2019 Sustainability Report

Our third cupless event of the year, with over five hundred runners out on the trails on a warm morning. Did anyone lose their heads over it? Not that we could see!

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Swimmingly Smooth: Tri Goddess Tri 2019 Sustainability Report

A beautiful morning, sunshine, happy athletes, and a hardworking Green Team that produced another terrific landfill diversion result. That’s a combination hard to beat!

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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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Don’t Just Toss Those Old Race Clothes!

Look, I get it. I’ve run plenty of wet, sloppy trail races. You expect a mess, so you bring along an old pair of shoes you intend to “retire” immediately after the race. You cross the finish line, change into clean and dry clothes, have a celebratory banana and beer, and then into the trash go the shoes, and your socks too, and maybe even your shirt.

But once they go into the trash, the opportunity to reuse them or donate them to a worthy cause is likely lost forever. Unless the event has a Zero Waste team, and they have time after sorting food waste and recyclables to search though the trash, and they feel so inclined to retrieve the dirty, soaked clothes.

“You mean you really want them?” I heard you asking. Well, actually, yes.

Here’s some friendly, and I hope useful, advice to any runners reading this who wonder how clothes that are wet, muddy, torn, or otherwise rendered undesirable can be salvaged and sent to a better place than a landfill.

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Gazelle Girl Race Achieves 98% Diversion and Saves 2,000 lbs. From Landfill

The Gazelle Girl has done it again! Not only does this annual women’s race get more popular each year, they find new and better ways to make it more environmentally friendly. This was the event (2015) that sparked my involvement in Zero Waste at races, and led to the creation of Happy Planet Running. I was pleased and proud to be a part of it again this year!

Read on to see what was new this year with their waste management and what their vendors are doing to make sustainability a mainstream, everyday practice.

Continue reading “Gazelle Girl Race Achieves 98% Diversion and Saves 2,000 lbs. From Landfill”

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