Running "Green" Tips


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"Running Green"


Nature is gift and we need to be grateful for what we often take for granted daily.  Running is a great way to find peace and harmony with nature and it's also a wonderful opportunity to help preserve our local environment.


I'm disappointed when I talk to people about global warming and environmental conservation and they say that since they can't solve it, they don't see any point in trying.  This defeatist attitude will never help.  If everyone did their part, collectively we could make a difference.


Running has made me aware of the trash on the sides of the road and the need for all of us to take PERSONAL responsibility for keeping these our environment clean.

Some tips I have found to do my part (and I hope you'll do yours):

  • On an easy run when time isn't a factor, you can pick up and carry four cans or fill a drink cup with trash and carry it home for disposal (yes, your neighbors may think you are nuts but they are nuts for ignoring this mess)

  • Literally RUN your errands to reduce your carbon imprint on our environment.  I often run downtown to vote, mail a letter, buy a roll of stamps, register for various organizations, have a cup of coffee, or to visits a friend or relative.  "Running" these errands gives you the opportunity to fit a run into an already busy schedule and it saves the wasted driving time outside of the errand and then having to find the time to get out and run.  It just takes a little pre-planning.

  • Teach your children well.  My three kids have had the "pleasure" of picking up trash on Earth Day.  They now have a healthy respect for their environment and a real dislike for litter.

  • Encourage friends and family to join in being "green".

  • Recycle/re-use water and sport drink bottles.  These are not typically "returnable" bottles and many are discarded on the side of the road.  We should NEVER contribute to the problem.  An empty bottle is not too heavy to carry until reaching home or a trash bin.  Wash reused drinking bottles with soap and water to kill germs and rinse/soak with bleach occasionally.

  • Think outside of the box and come up with ways to use running as part or all of your commute.  If work is close (under 5 miles) consider running to/from work.  For distances over 5 miles, consider running home from work, sleep, then run back the next day.  It takes a little pre-planning by having a towel and soap, a change of clothes, and it helps to have a shower at work.  Your body will remember and string together two training runs done within 24 hours so you can accomplish a long run done, save gas, reduce your carbon imprint, and it's less stress on the body for marathon training.  I have done back to back 11 milers and the return 11 miler FEELS like a 22 mile training run.

  • Bicycling is great cross-training for running by improving your cadence.  This can also serve the above purposes and increase and strengthen your leg muscles.

  • Recycle your running shoes.  Shoes in good condition can be donated to the Salvation Army or homeless shelters.  Old worn out shoes can be sent to Nike for recycling.  They grind up the shoes and re-use them to make tracks and sport surfaces.  Nike recycles 2 million pairs of shoes a year.  Send your old shoes to:

Nike Recycling Center

c/o Reuse-A-Shoe

26755 S.W. 95th Avenue

Wilson, OR  97070

Another option is to donate shoes in good shape to Shoes for Africa.  This organization distributes used running shoes to runners and school children in Africa.


For additional "green" information, the following websites offer other ways to conserve:


These are only a few of the resources on the web for energy and environmental conservation.


I hope you will join me in being "green"