Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ain't Easy Being Green

We wouldn't have missed James Varner and Alison Hanks' Orcas Island 50K for anything this weekend. It's a terrific race on a beautiful course, and it proved just how green these two are.

By green, of course, I'm talking about the recycled t-shirts screened with the race logo. How they asked all runners to carry a water bottle, eliminating the need for single-use paper cups. Even the black bean stew at the finish was served in reusable containers. In all, the garbage generated by a race with this many runners was impressively small, and the trails they left behind were pristine.

We've tried greening up Cascade Crest before, and it's not as easy as it seems. Last year we attempted to separate garbage from recycling and compost, for example, but we still generated a jumbo Dumpster of cardboard boxes and banana peels. What's the message when an event to purportedly celebrate the outdoors is actually populating a landfill somewhere?

A 100-mile race faces somewhat different constraints than your basic fat ass, but even so we know there's plenty of room for improvement. So look for further efforts coming this year to keep the trails looking good during and after the race. And if you're running or crewing, thanks in advance for your help in minimizing the waste we generate.

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