The 2014 Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon is committed to environmentally friendly practices. Through the Council on Responsible Sport (CRS), the Kansas City Sports Commission and the participants and volunteers of the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon are committed to reducing the environmental impact of the event on the Kansas City community. This plan will be formalized in 2014 when an application is submitted to CRS. The green team will consider the environmental impact in every decision and make sure protocol is followed with regards to this commitment. Another major goal will be educating everyone on the positive impact they can have on the environment as a part of this race. That includes the planners, vendors, participants, and spectators. If we can reduce our impact and help some of these key parties learn ways to reduce their impact, we have then accomplished our goal. We will also strive for certification under the Council for Responsible Sport’s Green Race Guidelines. Below is an outline of what practices and decisions are being made currently to help reduce our carbon footprint on the Kansas City community:
- Collecting used running shoes: In 2012, we held collection points at the Health and Fitness Expo, and were able to collect more than 150 pairs of shoes that are kept out of the landfill. These shoes were given to the homeless through Cross-Lines (www.cross-lines.org).
- Collecting recyclables: At the finish line and along the race course, we collect recyclable materials, including plastic, aluminum, cardboard, and paper that is either generated by the race itself (primarily along the course) or is discarded at the finish line festival, thereby reducing the waste contributed to the landfill as a result of our race.
- Recycling at the Health and Fitness Expo: The hotel (Sheraton Crown Center) where the Health and Fitness Expo is held has their own recycling program, which further reduces waste contributed to the landfill as a result of our race events.
- Collecting compostables: By collecting banana peels, orange rinds, and other food waste at the finish line, we can turn them over to a composting facility, keep them out of the landfill, and generate nutrient rich compost that will be used in flower beds and gardens throughout the metro area. In addition to the compostable food by-product, the majority of our cups are also compostable.
- On-demand printing for race T-shirts and apparel: The KCSC is utilizing on-demand printing features for T-shirts which are created right before your eyes, to your exact specifications. This reduces extra resources including materials and energy used to create excess clothing ordered to ensure that everyone gets the race branded apparel.
- Recycling unused medals: We partner with a local awards vendor, Hasty Awards. The KCSC donates all unused medals from the previous years back to Hasty Awards who then recycles the materials and uses the recycled materials to produce new medals. All participants are encouraged to bring their old or unwanted medals to the Health and Fitness Expo to recycle them. Please stop by the Hasty Awards booth to donate your unwanted medals back so they can be reused in the future.
- Virtual Race Bags: No more paper coupons and plastic bags flying all over the place or filling up our landfills! We have partnered with an organization that takes all of the materials provided by sponsors and vendors that would’ve been placed in a plastic bag and places them online. Not only does this reduce waste and cost, but it also saves time.
- No billboard advertising: Since we aren’t advertising on billboards anymore, we aren’t using the vinyl banners used to create those billboards which either end up in a landfill, or have to be recycled, which takes energy.
- Paper registration has been reduced to 1%: For a race our size, this translates to only about 10-15 people are using paper registrations. No paper registration means less waste!
- Recyclable race bibs: We work with Recycle Racing (www.recycleracing.com) to provide race bibs that are made of 100% recyclable materials.
- No styrofoam: All vendors, exhibitors, partners and other businesses who do business with the Kansas City Marathon are encouraged to use packaging that does NOT include styrofoam.
- Recycling heat sheets: The Kansas City Marathon has handed out mylar Heatsheets at the finish line for years to help keep the marathoners warm post-race. While these mylar blankets are not recyclable through local facilities, they are recyclable through a collection program that Heatsheets has set up. We will be utilizing this program this year to collect as many of the Heatsheets as possible before they go into the waste stream. So when you’re at the Finish Line Festival, look for the Heatsheets recycling stations and help us keep them out of the landfill.