Sports Destination Management, a trade publication for sport event managers and organizers, has just published a set of tips for hosting a sustainable sporting event. I was pleased to be asked to contribute to the piece, along with Ethan Nelson and Janis Ross. Ethan is the Waste Prevention and Green Building Manager for the City of Eugene, Oregon. Janis is the Executive Director of Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports. They both played big roles in organizing and promoting the environmental and socially responsible initiatives that resulted in gold certification from the Council last summer for the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials.
I think you’ll find the tips we present to be useful and appropriate for sporting events of all sizes. Here’s the opening Q&A from the piece:
What is a Sustainable Sporting Event?
A source of community pride for fans and athletes alike!
When the Nike Women’s Marathon achieved CRS Certification in 2008, event organizers earned an innovation credit for the creative reuse of a lot of their collateral materials, which were donated to SCRAPS — Scrounger’s Center for Reusable Art Parts — a source for the resourceful in San Francisco.
As much arts-related as it is environmental, the SCRAP ethos of creative reuse demonstrates that artistic creativity and learning can take place anywhere and everywhere—and with all manner of materials—and that “junk” has value for those who can see meaning beyond the discarding of things.
Other CRS Certified events, like the Marine Corps Marathon, have found other avenues for creative reuse of their large format printing (banners, directional signs, etc.). PriorLife, a subsidiary of Britten Banners, for example, recycles used banners into eco-friendly messenger bags, tote bags, laptop sleeves etc.
But the fact remains that much of the large format printing produced for sporting events continues to use PVC, unsustainably produced substrates and toxic, petroleum-based inks, which have a deleterious effect on the environment. Continue reading
In the hierarchy of reduce, reuse and recycle, the opportunity to creatively reuse common race materials is often overlooked. But the folks at Cincinnati’s Flying Pig Marathon have long been known for their creative bent — from tying virtually every facet of their event into the pig theme to turning recycled plastic water bottles into fleece garments for the homeless, the Pig’s reputation for innovation is well deserved.
This year, Flying Pig organizers applied for and earned CRS Certification. The photo on the left depicts creative reuse at its best, and the result helped the Pig earn one innovation credit (actually, the Pig earned all three innovation credits).
So, what are we looking at in the photo? Pieces of old banners and ribbons from unused medals, which have been made into bags, purses and pillows to be sold via the Flying Pig e-store to benefit a local non-profit. Brilliant!
If you’ve got an example of creative reuse you would like to share with the CRS community, drop us a note in the comment box and we’ll follow-up to learn more about how you maximize the middle “R” at your event. You don’t have to have earned CRS Certification to participate — the more ideas about creative reuse the better!