I try to do my best, honestly. I recycle my soda cans and all of the shoe boxes we get at the Runners Edge. We also reuse paper (did you make too many copies of your race sign-up form? Don’t worry – we use the back!) and wash my clothes in cold water. But sometimes I’ll catch myself driving to the track workouts on Tuesday. For some of you, that’s just fine but I only live a half mile away from Dornblaser. So I know I can make a little more of an effort to reduce my carbon footprint through my running lifestyle. Now I know most of you already do this. I’ve seen you biking down Higgins while it’s snowing. Kudos to you. I have a hard time getting on my bike when it’s raining out. I have to say, I even put my bike away for the winter. I just can’t stand the cold (embarassing, I know). But I want you to know that being green isn’t always that easy and I want to make a better effort. So for the other runners out there who are a little more like me, here are just a few ways we can easily start to reduce our carbon footprint through running:

1. Forget The Car. Like most of you, I enjoy exploring the trails in the area. Rattlesnake? I’m there! Blue Mountain? Gorgeous. The only problem is they are a little far from my house and so I drive to get to these places. There are a few simple things we can do to change this. Carpooling is an option, especially with cooler weather approaching. Or maybe you’re meeting a friend at his or her house. Instead of driving there, think about meeting halfway on your run or biking to a meeting spot. There are lots of ways to cut down on carbon emissions while still reaching our destination.

2. “Greening Up” Your Running Shoes. Although it’s hard to buy “green” shoes, it’s getting easier to find a wider selection of shoes made with bio-friendly materials. Brook’s new BioMoGo material is the world’s first biodegradable midsole. They’ve also released a shoe called the “Green Silence “, which is made up of materials such as soy-based ink and requires less petroleum and energy to produce. Don’t like Brooks? Think about rotating two different pairs of shoes, which helps them last longer. And of course – what do you do when your shoes are no longer able to be worn? Recycle them! The Runners Edge participates in a program called “Soles 4 Souls”, where you can donate your old running shoes. Just drop them off at our store and we’ll take care of them for you!

3. Drink Tap Water. It’s okay to filter it, just forget buying the plastic stuff. And while we’re on that subject, think about buying sports drinks in powdered form to reduce even more packaging. Buy your gel in bulk. You’ll actually save some money on this as well!

4. Clothing. A few simple rules to live by: Only wash a full load (who wants to wash more loads of laundry anyway?), wash in cold water, use earth-friendly detergents, and hang to dry. Again, going green and saving some money at the same time. Fantastic!

Although these are just a few ways of being more earth-friendly, it’s a step. And if we can all do these small steps, it will make a big difference. Let me know how it goes! Good luck and Happy Running!