Big Sur Marathon Remains a Leader in Green Efforts

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Julie Armstrong, Marketing Communications Director
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Big Sur Marathon Remains a Leader in Green Efforts
Green Team advocates “reduce, reuse, recycle and rot” as it focuses on composting race materials
Since its early days, the Big Sur Marathon has worked to reduce waste and offer a clean, green
course, but in 2009 the organization stepped up its green efforts. Partnering with The Offset Project, a
local non–profit focused on reducing carbon emissions, the Big Sur Marathon has implemented a variety
of programs that have helped make Big Sur events among the greenest races in the world.
Named one of the first “Gold Certified” marathons, they have pioneered practices which are
now being adopted by races throughout the country. Some of these initiatives include offering a virtual
goody bag, 100% online registration, composting race food, sourcing 'green' products, offering water
refills instead of single-use cups, providing ride sharing opportunities and more.
New this year is the rebranding of the water refill stations by CamelBak, the leader in
hands-free hydration, and the recycling of heat sheets into Trex™ wood-alternative decking and
railing products. Other green ‘upcycling’ efforts include donating packing Styrofoam to be
recycled into surfboards and sending additional materials to Terra Cycle for repurposing into
purses and reusable bags.
The marathon has added a new “r” to the popular “reduce, reuse and recycle” motto.
Now, it’s “reduce, reuse, recycle and rot,” as the green team focuses on composting the
majority of its waste. This includes food scraps as well as compostable flatware, coffee cups and
other products. Last year’s marathon reported a 91% diversion rate (from the waste stream)
due to the large amount of product composted.
Kristin Cushman, owner of The Offset Project, and head of the Big Sur Marathon’s green
team says, “Big Sur has led the way in its diligence and practices toward doing all they can to
have a sustainable event. We’re now seeing other major events work toward this goal as well.”
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