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Go Green! Make Your Race More Environmentally Friendly

Being more environmentally conscious is a big trend right now. Trendy or not, at RaceDirector we think being a good steward of our environment and natural resources is just the right thing to do. Read today's blog post for ideas and tips on how to be a part of the solution.

Go Green!  Make Your Race More Environmentally Friendly

If you are really serious about going green, the Council for Responsibility in Sport has created a certification program you can use as a road map. Even if you do not get fully certified they still offer lots of tips and ideas to be more Earth friendly. Certification will give you access to special deals with environmentally-friendly vendors and suppliers. You can also use this heavily in the marketing of your event. Either way, we all should do our part to help out by putting on a greener event with less waste. Most of these ideas also will give you financial benefits as well. Less waste means lower costs and will help put your bottom line in the green as well.

Going paperless is pretty simple these days. Most people are very comfortable signing up for events online and getting electronic confirmation. If you do a solid job on your race website, you can just about eliminate all the paper. The waiver you have runners sign may be a bit more complicated, but you can have people provide electronic signatures for these forms online that are just as valid legally as a paper form.

Packet pick-up and swag bags are another resource-intensive area that can be improved. Of course, people do need a race bib and there are lots of options for bibs printed on eco-friendly or recycled materials utilizing soy-based inks. If you really want to streamline things, you can eliminate all the other flyers and paper that people get in a race packet. Instead, offer a virtual race packet. This can still allow you to promote your sponsors and other activities associated with your event. You can link to this on your website or send it out as a link in an email to participants. Some people may be used to the old fashion race packet, but if you communicate the benefits and make it easy for them, most will adapt. Also consider offering an eco-friendly tote bag rather than a plastic swag bag.

Swag is a big expense in a race budget. People do get excited about good swag and you should be creative in offering something useful and unique. Your strategy can have an environmental twist as well. How many race t-shirts does one person need? If you want to be really aggressive, you could eliminate it all together, but a more practical option might be to make it an add-on option or something people can opt out of receiving for a reduced cost. You know your crowd. Give them what they want, but do it with a green angle that you communicate and promote.

A recent trend at events is for them to go "cupless". This means that the event will not provide any cups of any kind for water or sports drinks provided. Everyone has seen the area around an aid station at a large marathon. It is a sea of paper cups used one time amid gallons of wasted water sloshed about. Going cupless eliminates the paper waste and creates less spillage. WaterMonster has developed a system for events to provide bottle filling stations at festivals as well as quick fill options for aid stations. Ultraspire offers a reusable, collapsible, 6 oz silicone cup. These can even have logos printed on them and used as swag to promote your event.

Another way to reduce the carbon footprint for your event is to encourage people to carpool or ride a bike to your event. Parking is usually a concern for larger events, so getting folks to share a ride will help out on logistics as well. This is helpful for remote events as well. Provide a secure area for people to park their bikes to encourage more people to leave the car at home. We found one event that offered a free beer from their sponsor if participants parked a bike in the secure bike area.

Even if you do not plan on marketing your event or getting it certified as an environmentally responsible event, at RaceDirector we encourage everyone to do something. Even adopting one of these strategies makes a difference. One drop in the bucket does add up if we all do our part. Plus, as we mentioned before, going green will also work to help keep your event out of the red as well!

See for yourself how RaceDirector can help you save money on race registration fees while maximizing your time with robust race management features.

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