to We all love to run in great places, a city or out in the country. Perhaps to explore, for running inspiration or even to sight-see. All helps to make the run pass with more interest.
The mere act of running must surely leave us with a low carbon-footprint. Be a good thing for the environment, a great way of saving money, perhaps, with a daily commute of running to and from work?
Yet, it may just be worse than you could have ever imagined.
It’s not what you are doing, the running. It’s what you are wearing, the choice you make at the point of purchase. Shoes definitely, but you could argue that with most of your body covered with clothing, that the impact here is far greater. Do you actually know what you have bought, where it has come from and what it is made with and through what process?
Then I guess the next question is, ‘Do you actually care?’ If you do or would like to know more then read on.
Many folk are aware that Patagonia are pretty hot when it comes to sustainability and the environment, many also consider them to be pricey. So how about this…
I am stood on a hill side with a group of fellow runners. It’ pretty blowy and definitely a tad chilly. I am stood there in my winter kit feeling pretty cosy, thinking it’s probably time to head down. Then the person next to me asks, ‘It that all you are wearing? I’m freezing and your just stood there.’ I respond with, ‘I guess I must be Patagonia powered’. The obvious reply was, something along the lines of ‘costs a fortune you should be warm’. Then we did the math. The particular person was wearing 4-layers on top, purchased from a rather large own brand warehouse type store. They had spent a little over £100 to be on a hillside feeling the weather. Likewise I was wearing two tops having spent around £10 more. We were both wearing polyester yarn based product, all of which is made using petro chemicals.
So who’s carbon footprint is lower? Then add into that the facts that one of my tops is made from 50% bottle tops and 50% recycled Patagonia clothing, and the other top was 50% recycled bottle tops and new yarn. So which ever way you look at it I was definitely winning the ‘Carbon Footprint’ and the staying warm battle, yet I was only out of pocket by an additional £10.
Yet, this straightforward comparison on a hill side is only just scratching the surface of the running industries environmental challenges and yes we can help push it in the right direction, that is if we care enough. It also demonstrates that we can make a difference to sustainability, be more actively comfortable and not spend as much as we think we have too. There is more to sustainability and helping the environment with the choices we make by buying from a decent, caring brand. It is also about how something is put together, what happens to the excess material and then there is the workforce. I haven’t even mentioned to you the options you have when you come to throw that worn out piece of kit away. These all remain current issues, just not so news worthy these days.
So I will be back with more.