Sustainability and Going Green at Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

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Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day we’d like to highlight some of the efforts that the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race is making to ensure that it is a sustainable road race.

Over the past few years the CUCB race committee has recognized the importance of being an environmentally friendly event and has formed a dedicated sub-committee to manage these efforts. This committee manages a certification process through the Council for Responsible Sport  that recognizes athletic events that are going above and beyond to protect the environment in which they operate.  For the CUCB 10 Mile Race, this means making sure that event venues are environmentally friendly and that the National Parks grounds that the race course is run on remains clean and preserved for the future.

We couldn’t do any of this without continued support from runners and volunteers.  We had 22 amazing “Green Team” volunteers helping out on race day, to make sure that as much waste as possible was diverted from landfills and recycled or composted.  These volunteers worked hard to make sure that water bottles were recycled, banana peels were composted and that heat sheets were collected for “upcycling.”  We also collected 68 bags of clothing at the start line and donated them to Goodwill Industries.

The sustainability efforts of the CUCB 10 Mile race did not just happen on race day.  At the shoesSustainability Booth at the Health and Fitness Expo, we collected 195 pairs of gently used athletic shoes to donate to MORE Foundation Group.

We also partnered with TapIt to make runners aware of local establishments who would refill a water bottle for free.  This service makes it easier for runners and those out and about for the day to refill empty water bottles instead of throwing them away in purchasing water.

A free bike valet service was offered at both the Health and Fitness Expo and the race, and we arranged for Metro to open two hours early on race day.

While we’re happy with our progress, like any runner trying to beat a PR, we are continuing to plan to make the 2016 race an even greener and more sustainable race.  We welcome ideas from our runners and appreciate your feedback.

About the Authors:

Kim Nemire is the lead team member of CUCB’s dedicated sustainability committee.  She’s responsible for coordinating all the efforts of the sustainability of the race and affiliated events.  Currently, Kim is working on a goat farm in rural Illinois helping make goat milk soaps and goat cheese.

Anna Dengler is a member of the sustainability team.  She is responsible for coordinating outreach and communication efforts of the sustainability team’s mission.  She currently works at a software company in Baltimore.

About Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan

Elizabeth is a writing mom on the run and was one of two Social Runners from 2012-2013. Originally from Maryland, Elizabeth now runs up and down the hills of Pittsburgh, PA, where things (like rivers) come in threes. She loves triathlons, has published three books and has three sons! She runs her own writing business and finds that a good long run is often the source of her creative ideas. Elizabeth loves being married to a great runner who was a finisher at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

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