Running is an excellent way to stay healthy and explore the great outdoors. However, running can also have a significant impact on the environment if not done sustainably. Running on roads and trails can lead to erosion, litter, and pollution.
In this post, we will discuss how to run on roads and trails sustainably, so you can enjoy your run while minimizing your impact on the environment.
Choose sustainable gear
Sustainable gear is made from eco-friendly materials and is produced using ethical and environmentally responsible practices. Look for running shoes made from recycled materials and clothing made from organic cotton or recycled polyester. Choosing sustainable gear is a great way to reduce your environmental impact when running.
Bring a reusable water bottle
Staying hydrated during a run is essential, but disposable plastic water bottles can create a significant amount of waste. Instead, bring a reusable water bottle or soft water flask with you on your run. This will help you stay hydrated while reducing your plastic consumption.
Use sustainable transportation
Driving to your running location can contribute to air pollution and traffic congestion. Instead, consider running or biking to your running location. If driving is necessary, carpool with other runners to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
Littering can have a significant impact on the environment, harming wildlife and contributing to pollution. Always bring a small trash bag with you on your run, so you can dispose of any waste properly. If you see litter on the road or trail, pick it up and dispose of it properly - you can also challenge yourself to pick up as much as you can on a designated area!
Stick to designated trails
Erosion can have a significant impact on the environment, and running off-trail can contribute to erosion. Stick to designated trails and avoid running on areas with delicate ecosystems or vegetation. Running on designated trails can help preserve the environment and minimize your impact.
Participate in sustainable races
Many races have taken steps to become more sustainable, such as using compostable cups and reducing waste. Look for races that prioritize sustainability and make an effort to reduce their environmental impact.
Recycle your shoes and insoles
It is natural you'll have to replace your shoes to stay injury free - but don't put your running shoes to the bin! Many running shoe retailers are actually keen to get your shoes back, which might be recycled towards other objects, or future refurbished running gear. You might even get a discount off your next purchase while doing so, a real win-win for everyone! Read more about insoles recycling here.