Running: Close to Zero Waste


I grew up running.  A lot.  But it always involved chasing down some ponytail with a soccer ball.

In fact, if there wasn’t a black and white truncated icosahedron (Google worthy) in the vicinity, I wasn’t interested standing, let alone sprinting.  I once had a coach make us run a lap when we missed a shot on goal.

I was defender, folks.  We missed a lot.

So, why am I writing about it?  Because now I do it.  Because it’s simple.  And if you are going to expend energy for health, it’s one of the least wasteful ways to do it.


Some sports are more equipment intensive than others.  Windsurfing, one of my favs, virtually requires a mini-van to store all your sails and boards.  Even CrossFit requires the gym and all those medicine balls and tractor tires (although kudos for reuse).  Running however, can be done with a good pair of shoes and a sports bra.  I’m not sporting chiseled abs so I’m also going to don some shorts and a shirt.  But it’s such an unglamorous sport (and thank God for that), a green, $3 thrift store “Ithaca is GORGES” t-shirt will do.

Now, I do buy new shoes and quality sports bras.

[Admission:  I always dream of running so much I end up like Keira Knightley in Bend it Like Beckham.  You know we were all wondering why she even bothered to wear a sports bra.]

There are actually some options for fair trade, partly recycled, even vegan running shoes out there.  Some even use recycled packaging.  But we are a LONG way from net zero.  Because I can’t walk into a local running shop, have someone analyze my gait, and go home with a pair of eco-responsible kicks.

But here are some resources to check out anyway.

There are plenty of fun gadgets out there for the Type A runners.  But honestly, after awhile, you can run without a watch.  You know your pace when you hit it.  Or in my case, I know my pace when I exceed it.


The door to my gym.

For years I’ve been telling myself to start running again, especially after I ‘volunteered’ (got pregnant) for the time suck of my littles, because all I have to do is open the front door to find my pitch.  No fossil fuels are burned to get to the gym, only the cranberry scone in my belly.

No hours to worry about.  No traffic to deal with.

And from my front door there can be 360 different routes.  And if I get bored with that, I can run them in the opposite direction.  Or faster.  Or change my route at any point during the run.  That’s a lot of WODs.


And the view changes quite often.

Tight-Ass Efficiency

Workin’ it.

Heck no I’m not posting a pic of mine.  That’s what chubby babies are for.

So if we move away slightly, from the tangible waste reduction goal of this blog, and move towards the temporal realm, factoring travel and prep time, running might be the most efficient way to get your bikini-bod on.

Weight loss, glowing skin and this crazy desire to eat better all seem to happen within the first two weeks of running.

And if that isn’t enough, read all the things mentioned by my favorite hommage à courir:  this guy.

I won’t be taking any nudie over-the-shoulder pictures anytime soon, but by choosing to run, I can exercise with a free conscience.*

*Warming:  NOT running comes with excessive guilt.  

January 22, 2015

About Me

About Me

I’ve been passionate about combatting blind consumerism since 2008 and joined the Zero Waste movement by starting this blog in 2013, soon after my second child was born. I think it might have been trying to unwrap a toy or someone’s attempt to sell me a butt-wipe warmer that put me over the edge… read more



  1. IronMike

    There's also plyometrics, which can be done with everything you list for running, possibly without the shoes. Yoga, on grass, won't require a mat. (There is naked yoga too, but I don't advise it.)

    My chosen sport, I see, isn't near as zero-waste as running, unless I lived nearer open water. But then that would require moving, which is certainly not zero waste. 😉

  2. zerowastemommy

    Open water is difficult here in the desert too! Plyometrics is a great idea, and one I had hoped to write about, but I've only gotten my lazy bones to run so far. And not as often as I would like.


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