Going Green: Running Gear that Helps the Planet

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green running gear Going Green: Running Gear that Helps the Planet www.runnerclick.com

Going “green” is all the rage these days. Which is a really wonderful thing! More and more people are starting to do their bit in the collective quest to lighten our load on Mother Nature. And while changing up your running wardrobe isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when evaluating your impact on the planet, it certainly can help.

Running gear manufacturers are slowly but surely coming to the party and making it easier than ever to make a difference while doing what you love. And while the nitty-gritty of the “green” or sustainable running gear movement is still being debated, progress is certainly being made.

Here are some of our current favorite “green” or sustainable running gear options – we know you’ll love them too!

“Green” Running Shoes

The adidas Ultraboost Parley

It’s no secret that our oceans are currently in a pitiful state. A staggering 40 million pounds of plastic waste is estimated to float around in the North Pacific Ocean alone. A sobering statistic indeed. Through the Parley A.I.R. strategy, which rests on the pillars of avoiding and intercepting plastic, and redesigning the plastic economy, adidas aims to bring to an end marine plastic pollution.

According to the manufacturer, one pair of Ultraboost Parleys prevents about 11 plastic bottles from entering our oceans. So in addition to providing an ultra-cushioned, but responsive neutral ride, the aesthetically pleasing uppers of this shoe features Parley Ocean Plastic™. This is made using recycled waste, which is collected from coastal towns and beaches before it ends up in the ocean.

“Green” Running Gear

Patagonia Women’s Capilene 3 Midweight Zip Neck Top

This stretchy base-layer wicks moisture away from the skin and dries at lightning speed – exactly what every runner wants. The zip-neck furthermore allows you to control ventilation, while thumb loops keep hands cozy during crisp morning runs. And while most of these features are pretty standard, the best is yet to come. Sixty-five percent of this top is made of recycled materials. (And many other styles in the Patagonia range too!)

But it doesn’t stop there. Patagonia has also come up with the Worn Wear initiative, which allows you to trade in your quality, worn Patagonia gear for credit on new or used Patagonia styles. Traded-in clothing and gear is then cleaned using CO2, a process that is lighter on both water and electricity than conventional methods. And after that your pre-loved gear is put up for sale as Worn Wear.  Which means that fewer pieces end up in landfills, and you can score yourself some really good deals on second-hand gear in the process!

“Green” Running Accessories

Dex Shades

Although these shades weren’t specifically designed for the running market, their super-light, sturdy frames make them the ideal running companion. The team behind Dex Shades believe that being “green” can also be super stylish, and offer high-quality, UV400 sunnies made from repurposed skateboard decks. Each bamboo deck is unique, and as a result the color layers and wood-grain variation of each pair of  Dex Shades is unique as well. Which means that your sunnies will be one of a kind.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you, the Dex Shades team also plants a new tree for every pair of shades sold. Cool, right?

Alchemy Goods Madison Backpack

Made specifically for commuting, this nifty little backpack is as eco-friendly as it gets. With an exterior made from upcycled bicycle inner tubes, and shoulder straps made from upcycled seatbelts, the Alchemy Goods Madison Backpack contains both a laptop sleeve and a buckle closure for bigger items. Measuring only 11 x 15 x 4.5 inches, it also sports three internal pockets, three pen slots and a zippered front pocket. Perfect for carrying around your day-to-day work stuff if you keep a bigger bag with your weekly run-commuting necessities at work.

“Green” Runners

Yes, many “green” running gear options are expensive. And, for a lot of runners switching to all “green” gear simply isn’t an economically feasible option. So does this mean that you’re off the hook? Nope. Switching to “green” gear isn’t the only way in which to do your bit for the environment. If you want to make a difference, but your budget is tight, follow these simple and easy suggestions and add your own as well:

  • Don’t litter. It doesn’t matter where you run: The roads, the trails or the treadmill in the gym. Always take your waste with you when you leave or deposit it into the correct waste receptacles, if available.

  • Reduce, re-use and recycle. Instead of using fueling and hydration products that are packaged in single-use containers and wrappers, buy in bulk and dispense into smaller, re-usable containers for each run. And make a habit of recycling all your running-related paraphernalia: Running magazines, supplement tubs, hydration packaging. The list is endless!
  • Support eco-friendly races. You’re going to race anyway, so why not seek out and support races that go the extra mile to be “green”? And if there isn’t an eco-friendly race in your area, why not suggest a few pointers to existing ones?
  • Commute. If at all logistically possible, make the effort to run commute to work, school or your local mall. Not only will you be getting in some extra miles, but you’ll be cutting down on your household’s carbon emissions as well.

So there really are no excuses. Go forth and do your bit today!