Running A Sustainable Earth
Running outdoors is one of the pure joys of the sport. Being able to breathe in the fresh air and go for a run is one of the many reasons we need to work to make Mother Earth last. The running gear industry has come a long way, but sustainability efforts within it are still relatively new. At Fit2Run, we carry products from brands working towards a cleaner future, whether it be the transition from plastic to cardboard or striving for zero carbon emissions. Earth Day may only be a one-day event, but we should strive to protect and preserve our environment every day. Check out some of the brands we work with that are incorporating sustainable practices every day.
More than 60 million plastic water bottles get thrown away each day in the US, and only about 12% are actually recycled. The remaining 88% end up in landfills or littering streets, parks, and waterways in our communities. One of the biggest things we can all do to help with this plastic issue is reusing products like water bottles. Nathan promotes the eco-friendly lifestyle of reusable hydration solutions in a variety of products from bottles, vests, flasks, waist packs, and handhelds designed specifically for your active lifestyle. So no matter what your running journey looks like, whether you’re a short-distance speedrunner or a long-distance trail runner, Nathan has a perfect reusable hydration solution for you.
Nuun is a company as passionate about keeping every athlete as hydrated as humanly possible as they are about making a positive impact in their community. These electrolyte tablets come in a perfect travel size tube so you can transform your water into fizzy, tasty electrolyte hydration right in your reusable water bottle. Among their sustainable practices, Nuun also sources and packages to minimize their carbon footprint with minimal waste and production energy while sourcing sustainable ingredients. Nuun uses clean ingredients formulated with a plants-first mindset and are Certified Gluten-Free, Kosher Certified, Certified Vegan, Informed Sports, and Non-GMO.
From running to hiking to racing, ON is a brand that loves spending time outdoors which motivates it to put an important emphasis on its sustainability practices company-wide. They are working on different initiatives to reduce their CO₂ footprint in both the product level and an operations level. Within their products ON preferred materials include recycled polyester and the use of vegan fabrics in all footwear. They also use organic cotton and are working towards 100% certified organic cotton and 100% mulesing-free wool. ON also recognizes its high use of polyester performance fabric and is working to avoid the use of virgin polyester and other virgin materials from use in the production line of any future products. ON is leading the industry in finding a way of giving new life to running items that would otherwise end up in landfills.
Honey Stinger is a firm believer that ‘you are what you eat’ therefore they are most passionate about creating simple, real food to help you energize on every one of your adventures. Their commitment to making high-quality products with real ingredients includes the use of wholesome, organic, and non-GMO ingredients whenever possible. Honey being amongst its key ingredients in all its products for its delicious taste and richness in healthy carbohydrates is always True Source Certified. True Source Certified is an organization composed of groups of honey companies and importers who are committed to the legal, transparent, and ethical sourcing of honey. The honey Honey Stinger uses is produced in Brazil, with TSC certified which supports and promotes the authenticity of high-quality honey while maintaining the well-being of the bees who produce it. Honey Stinger continues its sustainability mission to make running treats with “food produced in a way that is better for you and better for farmers, animals, communities and the environment.”
To fight climate change, Nike launched its “Move to Zero” initiative in 2019. This initiative launches Nike’s journey to zero carbon and zero waste. They even plan to reduce their carbon emissions globally by 30% and operate on 100% renewable energy by 2025. Nike saw the effects of climate change on the sporting industry and decided to take a step to slow this process. Aside from the “Move to Zero” campaign, Nike has also taken additional steps towards becoming a sustainable player in the game. To combat waste, the Nike Grind program, which was established in 1992, helps transform scrap and old athletic shoes into Nike Grind materials, including rubber, PU foam, Eva foam, leather, textiles, and thermoplastics. These materials are then used to make other products, including tracks and fields, basketball courts, stadiums, playgrounds, and even furniture. Nike has recently stepped up in the realm of sustainability and their efforts are not going unnoticed.
In 2016, Hoka took a big step and joined the United Nations Global Compact or UNGC for short. The UNGC is a global corporate sustainability initiative that gives companies guidelines on incorporating sustainable practices into their strategy. With the requirement of annual progress reports, the UNGC holds its partners accountable. Aside from joining the UNGC, Hoka also established its own sustainability goals for use within their company. To name a few, Hoka seeks alternative materials such as recycled polyester that are more sustainable and better for the environment for use in their products. They also actively work to reduce water consumption and waste through reusing and recycling efforts and have utilized renewable energy through the enactment of solar panels at their non-retail facilities. Hoka is working towards leaving a smaller imprint on the Earth, and it is a step in the right direction.
Old Today, New Tomorrow:
Asics’ Flytefoam technology, introduced in 2019, is constructed with cellulose nanofiber; a sustainable material, and the majority of the uppers of Asics shoes are made from recycled material including textile waste and used apparel. Although Flytefoam technology is not used in all Asics shoes, it is part of some of the most popular styles including the Nimbus Lite 2, Nimbus 23, and Kayano 27. This nanofiber is made from plant biomass which is abundant on Earth’s surface. Asics also has a goal to switch all of its polyesters to recycled polyester by 2030 and attain net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. In order to alert consumers that the shoe they are buying is not hurting the Earth, Asics created an icon and states that when you see this icon, “you see the seeds of hope that we’ve planted for future generations—to grow healthier and more positive in both mind and body”.
GU was created to help sustain a runner through a long run, but they are now working to sustain Mother Earth. 6 years ago, GU decided to join the Terracycle program and become a partner in sustainability. This program allows consumers to rinse out their used GU packaging, throw it in a box, ship it to Terracycle, and receive rewards. Once at Terracycle, the used packaging is melted into hard plastic and used to make new recycled products. The consumer is awarded Terracycle points for each shipment that can be redeemed towards a variety of charities, making this program an all-around beneficial initiative. The program accepts all of the packagings of GU products so using it is a no-brainer!
Feetures now uses yarn made out of recycled plastic or Repreve to make their performance socks. Repreve is the world’s number one brand of recycled performance fiber that is made from 100% recycled materials, mainly plastic bottles. Repreve was created to divert plastic waste from oceans and landfills, and with the help of companies like Feetures utilizing this product, they are succeeding. Actually, one pair of Feetures socks equals two plastic bottles. Aside from the beneficial effects that this recycled fiber has on the Earth, this fiber also makes Feetures socks more comfortable, durable, and protective. With the world producing more than 380 tons of plastic annually, companies like Feetures help reduce this footprint on our Earth.
We only have one planet Earth so we have to do our best to protect it! Celebrate this Earth Day with a run outside and be sure to check out our blog on top Florida Running Routes for some inspiration.