Sunday, October 19, 2008

Can running be green?

I'm a runner. Since running (outside!) doesn't require any sort of machinery or energy other than the little bit that I can provide, I assumed running was probably one of the most green sports a person can participate in. After all, I don't have to heat a large body of water to get exercise in the winter, I don't have huge costs involved in upkeep and maintenance of hundreds of acres of snow-covered mountains, I don't spend hours of time and many dollars on gas to drive to a set location to meet up with 12 other teammates who have also had to emit additional carbon dioxide to get there; I walk out the door in the morning and simply start running. Turns out, however, that a runner's most superstitious and prized possessions -- the shoes -- boast hardly any green ingredients... Check out Runner's World's article on just how bad the production of high-performance running shoes and other gear is for the environment...with very little chance for improvement. All that nice squishy and supportive stuff in the shoe is petroleum-based and non-recyclable; it simply won't perform once it has been broken down once. Looks like the main choice we have right now is simply trying to extend the life of the shoes so they don't end up in the landfills so quickly; this link will tell you where you can donate your shoes -- DON'T throw them away!

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