This is an odd mix of ideas.
I think it would be useful to distinguish between things which genuinely save energy (e.g. use of small amounts of electric power for gadgets), things which may be desirable to resolve other potential global issues (e.g. avoidance of landfill), things which save money (e.g. making your own energy food and drink), and things which do none of these things (e.g. using organic foods). Otherwise "green" issues just all get bundled together, with the result that we panic over things that don't matter while ignoring things that do. It's the kind of thinking which leads people to throw away their cars to buy new ones which are marginally more efficient, ignoring the fact that a huge proportion of a car's energy use is in its manufacture.
It's by no means obvious, for example, that recycling materials results in a net energy saving. Not using things in the first place saves energy, but once they're made it's generally most efficient to throw them out. You may worry about the subsequent landfill issues, but that's a different matter from energy saving.
As for making your own isotonic drinks and cereal bars, those are great ideas from a point of view of saving money, but from a carbon footprint perspective it is by no means obvious that you are more efficient at gathering these raw materials and cooking them than a food manufacturer. Unless you grow oranges, oats, sugar cane etc. in your garden, in which case I apologise.
And why insist on using "organic" orange squash? There may be good reasons to worry about organic food, but from a point of view of makind's footprint and energy consumption, organics needs more energy to grow and harvest and take up more land. Why worry about bamboo compared to cotton but then use organic squash?
And finally, if running shoes need throwing away (as we're told by the more enthusiastic marketing types) after 400 miles, why are they OK for Africans?
I'll be taking my car to my race on Sunday because a) I can leave my kit in the car, b) it's far more direct and the energy consumption isn't actually greater at all and c) if it's wet I tend to catch colds after races on long public transport rides. But I don't use a MP3 player so perhaps that's OK?
If people want to pick up trash when they're running, then good for them, but our tendency to pretend this is somehow altering the climate for the better simply because it makes us feel righteous (there's no obvious link between rubbish collection and CO2) actually isn't really helping.
All this eco fascism gets on my tits! The world was here long before mankind, and will be here long after mankind turns to dust. So a bit of a running shoe takes a thousand years to degrade, we'll soon run out of oil to make any more, so in a blinking of the earths eye (so to speak) all these bits of shoe will have been and gone, no one any the wiser.
Do the ecomentalists get het up over ancient societies leaving gold burial objects, that will take god knows how long to degrade, if ever?
Bring on global warming, i'd love it to be 10°C hotter here.
Right i'm off to smash up another fridge...
Lardarse wrote (see)
Bring on global warming, i'd love it to be 10°C hotter here.Right i'm off to smash up another fridge...
Some fair points, but you have got the energy costs the wrong way round regarding organic agriculture. "Organic" agriculture uses way less energy than "conventional" agriculture.
I totally agree with the pointless way that all the different ideas are lumped together.
Comon everyone should do thier little bit to be greener! Thought I'd mention Brooks Running shoes are 'greener' than most other brands.
Most of thier range now feature bio degradeable midsoles (BioMoGo) and laces made from recycled material. BioMoGo can breaks down into harmless compounds within 20 years compared to standard EVA misoles which can take up to 1000 years, over time thats a lot of stinking shoes!
Dont worry about your shoe rotting prematurely ! because BioMoGo will begin to break down only when retired shoes encounter high microbial load, low oxygen, and adequate moisture found in active, enclosed landfills. These three environmental conditions cannot be found in places where shoes are worn or stored.
FInd out more here:
>> Comon everyone should do thier little bit to be greener! Thought I'd mention Brooks Running shoes are 'greener' than most other brands.
You would have to be nuts to choose a running shoe based on how green it claims to be. Fit is just too important, its not like a casual shoe where it just has to look ok.
The problem with all this green marketing is that the figures are so dodgy; for example quoting energy saved during the life of a product but not the energy used during manufacture and disposal.
A prime example of greenwashing is this thing about local food - is it really greener to grow strawberries in gas-heated greenhouses in the UK rather than to fly them in from overseas? I doubt it but since the green marketing machine never reveals its calculations you can't be sure.
As for the whole idea of taking public transport back from races - had to giggle. Thats just impossible unless you live in a big city and even then can you imagine spending a couple of hours on a bus or train after a big race?
Richard_R wrote (see)>> Comon everyone should do thier little bit to be greener! Thought I'd mention Brooks Running shoes are 'greener' than most other brands.You would have to be nuts to choose a running shoe based on how green it claims to be. Fit is just too important, its not like a casual shoe where it just has to look ok.
Richard_R wrote (see)
>> Comon everyone should do thier little bit to be greener! Thought I'd mention Brooks Running shoes are 'greener' than most other brands.You would have to be nuts to choose a running shoe based on how green it claims to be. Fit is just too important, its not like a casual shoe where it just has to look ok.
I agree you should pick a shoe that fits you well as opposed to picking one that is 'green'. It just so happens the shoe that fitted best was a pair of Adrenaline GTS 9's.
High microbial load? sounds like my feet during a long run...
"As for the whole idea of taking public transport back from races - had to giggle."
Some of us have been doing that for years (taking public transport, not giggling!). You don't have to live in a big city, although of course the more remote and rural you are the harder it gets. It's probably more practical than many people think. If you have a car, you don't tend to even think of checking out the public transport options. You might be surprised ...
I nearly always travel to races using public transport as I can't drive. It does limit you a bit as Sunday services first thing are a bit sparse so there are always some races I can't get to n time. Admittedly I travel from London so it probably makes it easier for me but it is possible. The only thing I really need is somewhere that does coffee for my journey back. It's not fun dealing with caffeine withdrawal on top of sore feet/knees etc.
Just to correct one point, the article talks about "nearly-new" shoes being sent to Africa so I presume they don't send ones that have done 500 miles and are falling apart? Nobody would want my old trainers!
Victoria ooh la la wrote (see)
The above attitudes exemplify the reasons why we will never become a 'green' world. There's an excuse for everything, a "yes... but" and a negative attitude towards it all. Why don't you just spend the extra time making the changes you believe in, instead of writing essays aimed at persuading people not to bother?
Not sure if you're referring to me - if so you've missed my point. I'm not persuading people not to bother, I'm trying to point out which things genuinely make a difference and which don't.
We will never be meaningfully "green" if we devote energies to things which don't matter (e.g. rubber recycling and "organic" food) in order to make us feel better about ignoring the things that do (e.g. energy use). Hair-shirt self-sacrifice doesn't solve climate change, and in my view makes it worse by making people feel that they are exempt from taking real action because they eat expensive shrivelled carrots.
No doubt the Earth will recover after all the humans have died but isn't the idea to leave a decent world for future generations?
(When your great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren go for a run they will be knee-deep in undegraded mid-soles.)
>> Although I do understand your argument. It's just a shame it had to be first on the list of replies when it's more important to consider being environmentally friendly than to pick apart the methods.
I'm sorry but I have to disagree here, its important to pick apart the methods to work out what is really environmentally friendly and whats just greenwashing used to sell products. Environment awareness is pointless if it doesn't lead to real environmental improvements - is just cynical feelgood marketing.
Take the example of organic food, its seen as a sucess because it makes organic food companies a lot of money. Nothing to do with the environment or health.
Can't prove what? I'm not saying that it doesn't have health benefits but thats not why the retailers promote it and see it as a sucess.
Its a sucess because it has higher profit margins and allows retailers to differentiate themselves. Consumers like it because it allows them to feel like they have done something for the environment without actually changing their lives at all or think too hard about it. Greenwashing at its finest (and don;t get me started on the Prius).
I don't think that's true, Richard. And at the moment the organic industry's hit hard times because of the recession. Many organic farmers are bailing out and going back to conventional.
I buy organic whenever I can precisely because of the lower-intensity farming it entails. The meat definitely tastes better, can't say I really notice a difference in the veg. But it makes sense to me to buy and eat stuff that hasn't been sprayed with chemicals. For me it's all to do with environment and health.
Visit the official Runner's World page
Follow Runner's World on Twitter
Other Natmag-Rodale Sites
Run For Charity
About Runner's World
Runner's World is a publication of Hearst Magazines UK which is the trading name of The National Magazine Company Ltd, 72 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 9EP. Registered in England 112955. All rights reserved.
Website powered by: Immediate Media Company Ltd. | © Runner's World 2002-2014 |