The climate change checklist for runners

*Originally featured on The Running Bug*

Climate change is big news right now. With global warming and our plastic-filled oceans making daily headlines, along with a certain US President pulling out of the Paris Agreement, it could be easy to start feeling a tad glum. But instead of getting depressed, take positive action today! As a runner, your choice of exercise is pretty environmentally friendly already. But here are 7 smart swaps you can make, to show the planet a little more love. If you can tick them off, you know you’re making life better for the planet, your happiness and humanity in general – thank you for your all-round, Earth-loving awesomeness…

1/ Ditch single-use plastic bottles

This June, the Marine Conservation Society is challenging all of us to give up single-use plastic, so now is a great time to ditch bottled water… for good! With an estimated 20 million tons of plastic ending up in our seas every year, grab yourself a reusable running bottle and fill it from the tap.

2/ Recycle old kit

If your old kit is still in decent condition, you could donate it to your local charity shop or A Mile In Her Shoes, a charity that supports homeless women. And since October last year, Runners Need has been working with the European Recycling Company to help you recycle old trainers, with the Recycle Your Run initiative. Simply drop your old running shoes in the in-store recycle bins.

3/ Try eco-friendly running shoes

When you’re ready for new running shoes, check out brands that are moving towards sustainability, such as Brooks (which incorporates a fully biodegradable midsole), or Merrell (which produces vegan-friendly running shoes).

4/ Wear eco-friendly active wear

We’re always on the lookout for more environmentally-friendly active wear, so we’re super excited to hear about Sundried’s new ethical technical range, which has turned waste into sports kit! Made from used coffee grounds (we kid you not) which would otherwise end up in landfill, the clothing boasts all the properties you would expect from performance wear, including odour control and UV protection, plus it’s fast drying, anti-bacterial and wicks sweat away quickly. We love the stylish, loose-fit Sundried Grivola 2.0 Women’s Top.

5/ Enter local events

When it comes to race day, local events are best for the environment-conscious runner! Sticking nearby rather than driving (or even flying) further afield means you can travel by public transport, and will often be supporting your local running clubs too, as they tend to put on brilliant events for a fraction of the price of huge races.

6/ Run, don’t drive!

Whether you’re commuting to work or visiting friends, use your feet to travel (where possible), or you could also consider cycling or public transport, rather than the car. Leaving those four wheels at home even once or twice a week will cut your carbon emissions considerably.

7/ Wash with a conscience!

If you head for a post-run shower only to be confronted with an array of plastic product bottles, you might get hit by that plastic guilt again. So do away with them! Instead of shower gel, use soap, and try a solid shampoo bar, which means zero waste. They lather up brilliantly and last for AGES. We adore Lush Honey I Washed My Hair Shampoo Bar.

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