Search

Happy Planet Running

Run a great race. Leave no trace.

Tag

TerraCycle

Empowering Sustainability! Girls on the Run SE Michigan Sustainability Report

An organization dedicated to empowering girls and encouraging them to run decides to go Zero Waste for its annual 5K events. Happy Planet Running and Zero Waste Washtenaw were happy to step up to help. How well did we succeed, given some nasty weather and so many runners? Really well! See below.

Continue reading “Empowering Sustainability! Girls on the Run SE Michigan Sustainability Report”

Great and Getting Better: Trail Marathon Weekend 2018 Sustainability Report

Despite lousy weather in 2017, Zero Waste at Trail Marathon Weekend improved significantly from 2016, cutting landfill waste in half and improving diversion from 90 percent to 95 percent. Could we improve even more on this in 2018?

We did indeed! Read on to find out how we did it.

Continue reading “Great and Getting Better: Trail Marathon Weekend 2018 Sustainability Report”

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!

Continue reading “Could You Cover Your Glass, Please? Super 5K Sustainability Report”

Hear Them Roar! Detroit Women’s Half Marathon Sustainability Report

What happens when you take 1,000 women, give them coffee and chocolate, and blast the Katy Perry music? A half marathon breaks out! Would the Zero Waste team pick up enough of that energy to stay on top of the trash? Read on to find out!

Continue reading “Hear Them Roar! Detroit Women’s Half Marathon Sustainability Report”

Simply Divine: Tri Goddess Achieves 94% Diversion

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

Continue reading “Simply Divine: Tri Goddess Achieves 94% Diversion”

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.

Continue reading “Freedom from Waste: Liberty Festival achieves 97% Diversion”

Plastic Recycling Gets A Boost, and More

Some really good things have been happening recently with plastic recycling. And a few of them relate directly to the plastic we consume and discard at running events.

Even at the Zero Waste events I work at and/or run in, plastic remains highly used, from water bottles and jugs to coffee and beer cups, disposable plates and tableware, and more. The good news is that most of it is highly recyclable. But some of it is not accepted by recyclers, and, I’m sad to say, too much of it ends up in landfills, or worse, in sewers or waterways where it wends its way to the oceans, as part of the estimated eight million metric tons added each year.

So I’m pleased to relate some examples of how some of this plastic waste is either being recovered, or otherwise diverted into productive reuse. It’s a start – and YOU can help!

Continue reading “Plastic Recycling Gets A Boost, and More”

Recycling Marathon Heat Blankets: There Are Ways!

When I crossed the finish line of my first marathon back in 2011, I was handed a thin, light foil blanket. A runner’s body temperature begins to drop rapidly after stopping, and this was to retain some body heat until things stabilized.

It was over eighty degrees and sunny that day, so there was no danger of hypothermia. Still, I took the blanket as a first-marathon souvenir. But last month’s local marathon was wet and chilly, so the runners appreciated them, although they created a disposal issue.

The blankets are made of Mylar, plastic vapor-coated with aluminum. Both materials are recyclable by themselves, but together they are not. And when people started discarding them en masse, the volume quickly overloaded the receptacle. The Zero Waste team decided to collect them in the chance we could keep them out of the landfill.

A2 Marathon 2017 - Blankets and Overflowing Bin.jpg

We ended up with several large bags stuffed with Mylar blankets. What could be done? After some research we identified one bad option, one good (but costly) option, and one that didn’t help for this year but might for future events. Which one did we choose? Read on to find out!

Continue reading “Recycling Marathon Heat Blankets: There Are Ways!”

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”

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑