Runner's World featured an article about the environmental impacts of running in the November 2008 issue. It was interesting to consider, since on the surface running seems like a sport that would have little impact on the environment.
The issue looks at elements such as the fabrication and distribution of running shoes and apparel, as well as the transportation involved to get to training runs and races.
It was really cool to see how running shoes are produced and the complex journey they make before they land on our feet. But I wonder if this would be true for most sport shoes? And if all "sport shoes" have a big carbon footprint, is running still not a good sport to choose?
One thing I was glad to read about was alternative materials for running clothes. I personally like all the dri-fit types of synthetic wicking for my sweaty runs. I know the shirts I buy are synthetic and not a green choice. Runner's World has a review of alternative 'green' shorts, tops and gear, which you can even read on their website.
The magazine also had a spread on how races are going green by making race shirts with alternative materials, reducing the amount of paper used, utilizing solar generators, recycling and composting waste, etc. The magazine also lists the top 10 greenest races (not surprisingly, 3 of them are in Oregon)!
I think running is still a fairly green sport. Sure, we can all make improvements. Runner's World has plenty of tips to make it easy to do so.