Ragnar’s Pledge to Sustainability

It’s earth day. And boy, do we LOVE this planet. If you’ve found yourself here, you probably love the earth too.

As runners and Ragnarians alike, we spend a whole lot of time outside. Why? Because it’s beautiful. And when the earth is thriving, we thrive. So, let’s keep it that way.
Ragnar is all about bringing people together to do inspiring things. This holds true not only for our races but also in our efforts to be kind to Mother Earth.
We’re celebrating Earth Day this year with 10 easy, small things you can do to make the world a better and cleaner place. Whether you’re at a Ragnar race or just exploring in your own backyard.
Before we jump into that let’s talk about those r’s. And no, not how to roll them. Or the big R’s. like Ragnar. Relay. And Run. Because isn’t about us. It’s about Mother Earth. And Respecting her. So how exactly does Ragnar commit to sustainability at our events?

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. 

GREEN TEAM is a group of volunteers at our trail races, dedicated to sorting the waste produced during our events. The goal is that we get the correct waste in the right places so we have a clean waste stream and avoid sending our recycling bin to the landfill!

10 EASY WAYS TO PROTECT MOTHER EARTH

1. REUSE

Have old athletic shoes? We have a shoe donation partner this year! If you’re attending one of our events, you can drop off your used athletic shoes, the ones that still have some miles left in them, at our HQ tent! We’ll get them over to Sneakers 4 Funds, which will ship them to communities in need around the world. People in those communities then use those shoes in starting their own micro-enterprises. Your shoes will literally provide jobs to those in need! For every pound of shoes donated, Sneakers 4 Funds also makes a small donation to HEAL Utah on our behalf! At our most recent event (Ragnar Trail Atlanta 2021) we filled 3 bags up for donation. Thank you, runners!

So don’t forget to bring your gently used athletic shoes to the next Ragnar race!

2. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

How? Drive Less Days. Or should we say, “driveless days?” A simple way to do your part is committing to a certain number of days where you don’t drive! Walk where you need to go and start your runs from your house to cut down on emissions. If you NEED to drive somewhere, carpooling is also a great way to help.

3. Help Your Community

See trash on your run? Pick it up! Wearing something with pockets make this much easier. Find some gear with pockets in our GEAR STORE.

4. Respect. LNT. Leave No Trace!

This goes without saying, but don’t be a litterbug. In fact, try to leave the places you visit BETTER than when you arrived. If there are clearly marked trails, stay on them to sustain the growth of the natural environment. Remember that you’re visiting someone else’s home.

5. Reusable Hydration Vessels

You could try something like THIS or THIS or even THIS. Never use a single-use water bottle – like EVER. And here’s why…
    • Plastic water bottles can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.
    • Only about 1 in 5 plastic water bottles actually get recycled.
    • The energy we waste using water bottles would be enough to power 190,000 homes.
    • It takes 1.39 liters of water to make 1 liter of water.

6. Takeout Tips

In the year of a pandemic, we have all ordered our fair share of takeout. And that’s great. Supporting local restaurants is definitely something we can get behind. But here’s how you can make a difference when you order takeout:
a) Try to avoid Styrofoam. It is non-biodegradable and non-recyclable. According to the Washington University, Styofoam takes 500 years to decompose. It’s also kind of gross…styrene leaches into foods and drinks served in Styrofoam containers. And according to the Earth Resources Foundation, the manufacturing of Styrofoam releases large amounts of ozone into the atmosphere, causing respiratory and environment issues.
b) Opt out of single use cutlery. Chances are you have silverware lying around at home that can be used. If you’re on the go, maybe pick up one of THESE.

7. Conserve

Water is precious. The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater that will end up in the ocean. Here are a few simple ways of doing this:
a) Shorter showers. A typical shower uses 7-10 gallons of water… per minute.
b) Take baths! They actually use less water.
c) Your toilet is not a wastebasket. Every time you flush about 5-7 gallons are used.
d) Don’t leave the faucet running while: brushing your teeth, shaving, washing produce, and the list goes on. There are plenty of ways to conserve water. Try to adopt a few and go from there. Your wallet will also thank you.

8. Totes!

Like totes magotes! Or is it totes my goats? If you’ve ever been to a store and couldn’t carry everything out, you’ve likely been given a bag. You can help by bringing your own reusable bag like THIS.

9. Advocate

Be vocal about the sustainable things you are doing in your life. It’s not bragging – it’s simply spreading the word on initiatives that are important and better us all. The more of us that participate in eco-friendly activities, the better the world will be.

10. Choice

Lastly, you have the power to choose to participate in events and activities that are eco-friendly. Like, ahem, a Ragnar Event! Part of our sustainability initiatives allows you to offset your carbon footprint from traveling at our during our event.

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