Have you ever run a marathon? While running 26.2 miles isn’t for everyone, getting involved is all part of the event. There are the runners, there are the spectators, and there are even the volunteers who help the whole race run as smoothly as possible. Because of this, marathons not only raise a huge amount of money, but they also create huge crowds of people in and around one specific area. So, what does that mean for the environment?
Appearances Are Deceiving
There’s no doubt about the fact that marathons such as the London Marathon and the New York Marathon raise money for amazing causes and charities. Millions of dollars come from these events every single year, but sometimes appearances can be deceiving. While the support and the runners may seem as though they can do no wrong, it seems as though people often forget about the carbon footprint created by such events. Of course, it’s not just marathons. The same can be said for any large event, such as concerts.
Leaving It Behind
So, what are we talking about? If you’ve ever run or watched a marathon take place, you’ll know that there is a huge amount of waste involved. Spectators eat food on the sidelines, and the runners throw plastic water bottles on the road and even throw their HeatSheets on the floor when they are done with them. This means that both spectators and runners leave a huge amount of waste behind them, and this isn’t exactly eco-friendly. This waste simply piles up on landfills, and the materials used often take thousands of years to decompose.
However, head honchos behind these large events are making changes. For example, at the 2019 London Marathon, organizers chose to replace 200,000 single-use plastic bottles with something more eco-friendly. They utilized the help of Skipping Rocks Lab to give runners edible seaweed pouches filled with a sports drink. This pouches can store a large amount of liquid and are simply popped in the mouth of those who want to drink it. Then, they can either eat the edible pouch or remove it from their mouth and drop it to the floor, where it will take just 4 to 6 weeks to decompose.
In conclusion, marathons can be bad for the environment, but they don’t have to be!