Earth Day for Runners

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“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
― Rachel Carson

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Earth is absolutely full of astounding beauty. We as runners get to experience parts of the earth that many overlook on a daily basis. Whether we run on the roads or out on the trails, we get to see earth from a unique perspective. Running brings us closer to nature and also reminds us of the perils facing our beautiful planet when it comes to pollution and waste.

Let Earth Day be a reminder of the fact that you live on an incredible planet, and inspire you to do something about preserving it for generations to come. In light of the holiday, here are 8 ways runners can celebrate Earth Day every day.

©SALOMON.PHOTO.JordiSaragossa_SA_2012_hi_1484521. Go for a trail run. This is the perfect way to really take in all of the beauty that the Earth has to offer. Nature is so full of little treasures to discover and vistas that are bound to change your life. You may run trails regularly, but this time really take it all in.

2. Go for a trash run. A whaaaat? You heard me right. Go for a run with a bag in hand and pick up little bits of trash along your run.

3. Reusable water bottles. Many of us already do this, but sometimes it seems easier to just grab a plastic water bottle when you’re rushing out the door. Last year alone, the average American used 167 disposable plastic water bottles, but only recycled 38 of the bottles. If more of us switch to a reusable bottle, we can make a huge difference. Buy a quality water bottle and use it!

hiking-690479_12804. Run as transportation. To work, to your friend’s house, to dinner… choose one or two days a week to use these alternative ways to get where you’re going. Run-commuting is a win-win because you get exercise and you are helping to reduce automobile pollution.

5. Recycle. Too obvious? Well, I bet there is a lot about recycling that you don’t know. For example, did you know there is a program that can help you recycle items that may not seem recyclable, like energy bar wrappers?

6. Care for your apparel. Wash your running clothes in cold water and hang to dry after. Not only is this more earth-friendly, it also will make your apparel last longer, which is great for your budget.

7. Donate, don’t trash. Instead of tossing your old running shoes and gear, donate pieces (that aren’t totally destroyed) to your local thrift store.

8. Eat green. Did you know that meat requires significantly more fuel and water to produce than other sources of protein? Replace one meaty meal a week with an alternative source of protein. Can’t skip meat? Another green idea for fueling up is by making your own granola bars. No wrappers means less waste!