More steps, less footprint: tips to make your run more sustainable

by | Apr 26, 2023

3 min. read

We live, work, run and walk as part of a global community. Protecting the planet we run on is a marathon, not a sprint — small actions can bring big changes.

Here are some ways that you can move more sustainably while training, racing and staying involved in your community.

Train like you live here


Bring (don’t buy) your own water.  Stash a reusable water bottle along your route or run with a small pack filled with ice-cold H2O. Use bottles that strap to your hand or wear vests with water pouches to stay hydrated on your next long run.

Get the most gear for your run

Poorly made shoes contribute to a fast-fashion lifecycle. Wear shoes 640 to 965 kilometres, retire them to leisure activities, then recycle them or donate for others in need. Just remember to clean them first (here’s how).

Get good gear

When you shop for gear, focus on well-made shoes and apparel that you can stick with for the long run (or walk). Look for products that incorporate recycled materials instead of virgin or new materials.

Race for a cleaner planet

Leave no trace

Store race materials, maps and planning on a phone to minimise paper waste. Plan to take home or recycle everything you used on race day.

Drink from re-usable cups

If you use the hydration stations during a race, check out new options for collapsible race cups that easily clip to your shorts or race belt with a carabiner.

Travel smart

If you travel to the race, use public transport or consider car sharing with some race buddies. When you must fly to your race, consider carbon credits to offset your flight.

Move sustainably, together

Party time

Gather your run crew and organise a donation party to give gently used gear like running shoes and exercise clothes to those in need. Not ready to let your gear go? Consider a mending party where you and your buds get together to learn how to patch and sew well-loved gear. 

Be vocal

Reach out to your run community in advance of a race and collect signatures asking for organisers to make the event as sustainable as possible. Ask event organisers to switch race operations from single-use plastic bottles, bags and cups to more sustainable options.  

Get involved

Raise money for environmental charities while you run and choose races and courses that prioritise sustainability.

Bottom line, the ideal time of day to exercise is when it is best for you. Although more research is needed in this area to draw a conclusion on exactly what time of day is the best to exercise, what we do know is that long-term exercise does in fact improve aerobic capacity, cardiac function, management of BMI, and strength. So, the evidence points to moving your body for overall wellness regardless of what time you do it.

Keep that spring in your step this season and embrace your Run Happy journey with Brooks Running!

Our writer’s advice is intended for informational or general educational purposes only. We always encourage you to speak with your physician or healthcare provider before making any adjustments to your running, nutrition or fitness routines.

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