Letter from a Board Member

Letter from a Board Member: Thoughts on Sustainability

By: Matt Sherman

Hello UVRC!

My name is Matt Sherman and I’m on the Board and just wanted to say hello to all members! For this month’s newsletter, I wanted to get into something that I get really excited about and that’s how I can be more sustainable and reduce my footprint. I think about this in my everyday life and how I can combine my love of running with being a more sustainable human!

I hope many of these ideas sound familiar to you and you’ve considered them, but I’m also hoping to provide some inspiration! The list below is not meant to be comprehensive but a starting point based on my own research and musing thoughts. (Disclaimer: Most of these ideas are compiled from the many resources of the wide webs of the internet and not directly from the brain of this author.)

  • Bring a reusable water bottle (or bladder) on runs or to races, ditch the plastic bottle!
  • Think about the end of life for your running shoes: If they’re lightly worn, consider giving them to a friend or finding an organization that accepts donations (try Soles4Souls). If they’ve outlived their running life but still have some miles in them, use them for gardening or yard work. If you’ve run them into the ground (pun intended), try a recycling program like TerraCycle or Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe Program.
  • Run-commute to work if that’s an option for you. Or take a run over to the store while running errands (yes, that pun was also intended).
  • Bring a small bag with you and pick up some trash while you’re out for your run.
  • Send your old racing medals to get recycled with a program like Sports Medal Recycling.
  • Love to race and you have more t-shirts than you know what to do with? Donate them! Or if you’re looking for an art project, try to turn your old race t-shirts into a quilt! Or if you’re like me and not as inclined to follow through on a project, check out a company like Project Repat. Turn them into a reusable bag, here’s a video. I’m pretty sure I could even manage to do this, so there’s no excuses out there. And if you’re feeling particularly passionate about having enough t-shirts and want to reach out to your favorite races, there’s a great program called Trees not Tees. I haven’t run a race yet where I’ve seen this an option, but I think it’s a wonderful idea and would love to see this more widely available.
  • Speaking of races, what do I do with all of those race bibs I can’t seem to get rid of? Get a frame and create a custom art piece to remember all your favorite races. Hang it proudly for all to see!
  • Have you ever considered making your own alternatives to Goo and that single use packaging? I hadn’t before but here’s a fun article: https://www.nomeatathlete.com/homemade-running-fuel/ And in order to stick to this month’s theme of food, I’m going to add in one I’ve enjoyed in the past (I’ll note that this may not be the *exact* same recipe I’ve used before and could vouch for, but close enough they say). Homemade Fig Newtons Recipe. These can be enjoyed before, during or after a run for some extra energy and fiber.

Thanks for reading! If you have your own wonderful suggestions (running and non-running ideas accepted!), send them my way or tell me about it at a workout as I’m always looking to learn more! Hope to see you out on the road, track or trails soon!

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