The annual Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio has become a beloved community institution and capped it’s 15th year this May with Silver level certification from the Council for Responsible Sport. Earning 49 credits across the range of categories, from recycling and composting over 60% of event waste, to clever reuse of materials, and over a million dollars raised for charity—these are just the beginning of the positive social and environmental impacts of the Flying Pig.
“Greening is a huge undertaking for an event our size, but that’s what also makes it so very important,” said Iris Simpson-Bush, Flying Pig’s executive director. “We are committed to doing it as best we can and many local organizations are now looking to us for suggestions and guidance. We so appreciate and value the cooperation and support of our committee, participants and the community at large.”
While the Flying Pig has a steady track record of preventing waste and being an accessible, inclusive event, this year they took another step towards greater accessibility and reducing their carbon footprint through a partnership with the local transit district, Metro, to provide a race-specific all day bus pass at a special price so that supporters could hop on the bus to get around to the various race areas without driving their own car.
For more information on the many initiatives implemented this year, please refer to the downloadable PDF press release here.
Every picture tells a story. This one tells a couple of stories …
Organizers of the Waste Management Phoenix Open (WMPO) set an audacious goal for this year’s event: improve upon the 97% waste diversion rate from the 2012 event. Guess what — they successfully diverted 100% of the 2013 event’s waste from the landfill, achieving zero waste in the process!
But that’s not all. There’s more to the WMPO sustainability story than you might expect. In addition to greatly reducing the event’s environmental footprint, organizers paid great attention to their social impact as well.
The photo above not only depicts the waste collection/separation/diversion effort, but it features the “Birdies for the Brave tent in the background — a program organized to thank and honor active military personnel and their families, providing free admission to some 2,250 folks … and a great view of the 18th hole!
The full press release announcing the WMPO’s sustainable accomplishments is available for PDF download here, and a You Tube video summarizing the effort is available here.
On your mark, get set, get certified – again!
For the second year in a row, the Dodging Diabetes® Charity Dodgeball Tournament in Bethesda, Maryland has earned certification from the Council for Responsible Sport. In 2012, Dodging Diabetes® earned 31 certification credits by recycling, donating leftover food to food banks and using recycled trophies. This year, 43 credits were awarded – just one shy of the level needed to earn gold certification.
”We founded this charity with one goal in mind: to raise money to knock out diabetes for good. And we’re doing just that. But there’s no reason we can’t achieve that goal in a sustainable way,” said Dodging Diabetes® President and Co-Founder Anna Tiedeman Irwin. “Our community has embraced our efforts to compost, recycle, support local businesses and reduce our carbon footprint while raising money to knock out diabetes for good.”
For more comments and an accounting of the many initiatives implemented this year, please refer to the downloadable PDF press release here.
The Utica Boilermaker 15k took place yesterday in Utica, New York. Among the many sustainability initiatives implemented over race weekend, this one stands out as a very creative solution to what to with leftover food that cannot be donated to relief agencies. I’ll let Boilermaker’s sustainability guru Paul Macenroe tell the story:
It is now almost 4 in the afternoon and I just got back from the Utica Zoo and had the best experience of my sustainability career. I took 207 pounds of cut up fruit to the zoo, plus 5 extra bags of ice. Apparently on hot days they mix the food with ice to give it texture and to improve hydration (who knew they would have taken all of our leftover ice).
We dropped off most of the food in the kitchen and took an assortment with us to the Children’s Zoo with a Zoo Educator and some animals and set up an education event.
Several hundred children and adults stopped by. I did a short talk on sustainability and why the Boilermaker was donating food to the zoo. Since it has already been cut up it can not be given to humans (food Banks, etc.) One enterprising 7 year old said we could compost the fruit. I said yes but wouldn’t it be better to feed it to the animals first before we put it on the zoo’s compost pile. That way we get two uses for it. She agreed.
The kids had a chance to feed some of the animals the food. The zoo educator talked about the animals and the kids were able to pet and feed them.
We were there for about an hour and half.
Out of town Boilermaker runners and their families made up a large contingent of this crowd. My favorite quote was from one father of three from Erie, PA. He said at every turn I love this race more and more. You amaze me with your total inclusiveness.
This feel good story was also covered by local Utica TV station WKTV.
Richelle Criswell (l) and Susan Farago (r) of Trailhead Running
You’re not Lost. You’re with us.
Trailhead Running’s motto couldn’t be more appropriate. As the organizers of the Women on the Trails Race Series, held in parks in and around Austin, Texas, Trailhead Running offers fun and challenging trail races for women who are new to trail running or for experienced runners who are looking for a different type of race venue.
Susan Farago, Trailhead Running’s Head Explorer, also brings a keen sense of environmental and social responsibility to the task of race directing as well, and offers the following environmental mission statement.
Trailhead Running incorporates environmental best practices into the Women on the Trails Race Series in three key ways:
- By showcasing Austin area trails in a non-invasive way;
- By producing trail running events using innovative and sustainable activities resulting in little to no waste;
- And by promoting and encouraging the spirit of Earth-friendly living through health, lifestyle, education, and community.
It is with great pleasure that we recognize the Women on the Trails Race Series as the first complete running series to achieve certification from the Council.
A PDF version of the press release is available for download here.