About 1,000 female athletes compete in a 500 yd swim/15 mile bike/2.5 mile run at Lake Nokomis. Race organizers wanted to go low-waste this year, and made a number of sustainability pledges through FitPlanet, such as online-only registration, no plastic water bottles, composting of all food and serviceware.
This was the triathlon's first attempt to go low-waste and commit to green initiatives.
Committed to only online registration, no paper registration forms
Printed materials (postcards) were printed on certified recycled paper with soy inks.
No plastic water bottles at the finish line.
All cups, plates, napkins, silverware were compostable! Thank you, Ultragreen!!
Race shirts switched to recycled polyester made by Greenlayer. And included a "no shirt" option during registration.
The event encouraged race participants to carpool or bike to the race, and also to offset their carbon footprint by donating to Honor the Earth and The Minnesota Project, local organizations working on energy conservation. Bringing the race to Mpls also meant the vast majority of participants travelled a shorter distance to the race, including the race management team that make multiple visits to the site for planning.
Racers were encouraged to carpool and connect with others through Google email group, Facebook, or the YWCA Women's Tri group on www.pickuppal.com. Racers were told that even though they may need to drive to bring their bike and gear, their family and fans could take public transit and then ride home with them. They were directed to the Metropolitan Transit website.
Racers were encouraged to bring their own water bottles and fill up at water stations. Shoes were collected for recycling in partnership with the Recycling Association of Minnesota.
This was the first attempt by the YWCA Women's Tri to make substantial green strides, and the efforts were enthusiastically received by race participants.
We didn't have enough volunteers to monitor all of the waste stations, so there was a lot of contamination of unmanned bins. The race was over such a large area that it was difficult to capture all the recyclables properly. But the YWCA staff members were so committed to waste reduction that they took the bags of trash back to their building, sorted everything and all the compostables got recycled!
There was a lot of positive feedback from attendees, who were very happy to see the green initiatives and waste reduction efforts.
Yes, and the race organizers hope to do the same, or more, for the 2011 event.
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