In 2018, the world woke up and more events are actively reducing the amount of rubbish they produce. The best place to start is to remove un-necessary packaging like requesting the manufacturers to remove the plastic bags for t-shirts if you feel you must give out t-shirts.
Many more events are now going cupless and single-use bottle free. This improves the health and safety of the event for other participants as litter on the ground presents a hazard to other runners and can escape into the environment as have personally witnessed whilst participating in several events.
Below is pre-2018
Ideally all outdoor events should engage in a high level of eco-sustainable practices. This is a list of events that are attempting to keep their event and participants conscious of their environmental impact, as well as reduce the amount of single-use plastic & trash in their events. All of these events encourage participants to BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) and refill at check points + more:
- Aravaipa Running: aravaiparunning.com (ultra running events)
Cupless, Homemade food, optional t-shirts, no packaging
- Cheltenham Challenge: http://www.cheltenhamchallenge.org.uk/ (5K, 10km, 1/2 marathon)
2018: Cupless, zero single-use bottles used. Provide an online swag bags.
- Hi Terrain Events: https://www.highterrainevents.co.uk/
Use reusable cups; biodegradeable hot and cold cups; water containers filled with tap water; Donates £1.50 per participant to the National Trails Association to help maintain trails (for events on NT). A full litter pick up is done by volunteers but participants found to litter will be disqualified.
- Go Event Wales: http://goeventswales.com/
2018: Cupless. Participants found to litter will be disqualified, Brown Paper bag gift bag
- Green Race: https://thegreenrace.sg/
Provides each participant with a reusable collapsible cup + reusable bag that have snacks that are wrapped in packaging that decomposes. Participants found littering will be disqualified.
- LDWA events: https://www.ldwa.org.uk/challenge_events/events_list.php
All of these events encourage you to BYOC (Bring Your Own Cup) and every single one that I have attended, provided check points with home made food + water containers filled with tap water. UK water is pretty good to drink!
- Richmond Park Marathon: http://www.1m2go.co.uk/
Provides biodegradeable compostable cups and will be encouraging you to BYOB + fruit at check points + t-shirts with no packaging.
- Rome Marathon: https://www.maratonadiroma.it/?lang=en
In 2017 they provided compostable paper cups replacing the 10s of thousands of plastic bottles they provided in 2016. They also provided support to refill bottles as well as allowed you to place your bottle at specific check points. Additionally their goody bags are reusable cloth bags.
- Threshold Sports: http://www.thresholdsports.co.uk/
All of these events have jerry cans of water to refill bottles/hydration packs. Donates £1 per participant to the National Trails Association to help maintain trails. Left over food/beverages is donated to soup kitchens for the homeless. Lost property is donated to charity shops. There is litter picking by the volunteers but participants should learn to keep their friggin’ gel packs on them and dispose all waste at a check point as some litter will be blown away 😦 Cups & plastic packaging in the bushes along a trail or gel packs on a trail is just ******* (make up the rest yourself). 2018: Threshold are no longer providing plastic cups at check points nor plastic utensils and plates at the 1/2 way point.