29 April 2013

runners can change the world

i will likely never chain myself to a tree to stop a forest being cut down.

but that doesn't mean i'm not vitally concerned with how we're treating our planet.

around my house, i'm the nag who's on everyone's case about leaving the lights turned on in rooms where there's nobody.  i scour packaging of all shapes, sizes and materials to make sure that they shouldn't go into the recycling bin before they're dumped in the trash.  i'm willing to risk foul odours and the occasional maggot in order to collect compostables in our 'green bin'.

with that kind of MO, it's only natural for me to wonder how as runners we can contribute to a brighter ecological future.  

aside from the "well, you can use your feet to take you places instead of your car" suggestion (which is an entirely valid one, by the way), i often wonder about the waste that we produce in purchasing and using so much gear.  maybe that's one reason why at least 70% of all my running equipment (apparel, shoes, even timepieces) have been purchased from second-hand stores.  there's enough good stuff that people give away that i'm prompted regularly to ask do we really need to give the merchandising industry any more reason to keep the production lines running overtime?

but given that i myself am a creature addicted to novelty, one of the other ways in which i compensate for my own consumerism is to pay close attention to recyclability:
  • i've always wanted to own a pair of the brooks green silence (in the original hansons-brooks colourway) because of all of the intentional effort invested to make it an environmentally friendly product ... i still hold out hope!
  • numerous pairs of shoes that have been retired from my collection have found their way over to the local Running Free store where they have a receptacle for good condition shoes that can be re-distributed to local and global populations in need
  • i just read about Soles4Souls, whose express purpose is "to give relief to the victims of abject suffering and collects used shoes to support micro-business efforts to eradicate poverty" - i can totally get behind that.
as my friend lewis has often challenged himself (and me in the process), the question to ask while running is how am i saving lives by doing this?

i hope to always have a good answer to that question.


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