One of the many things that make the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon a unique event is that the event organizers have been thoughtful about reducing landfill waste since its inception. As a community of runners, we feel we need to do our part to reduce human impacts on the environment here in Grand Rapids. In our first year, we diverted 66% of our event waste from reaching landfills. Last April, we diverted 100% of our waste from the landfill. But we don’t want to stop there.
A plastic bag is used for an average of 12 minutes and is then discarded. Every second, 160,000 plastic bags are used around the world. Less than 3% are recycled.
In an effort to reduce the number of single-use bags hitting the landfill, as of March 1, Gazelle Sports will be rolling out reusable bags made of recycled materials in its stores across Michigan. Customers will be encouraged to bring their own reusable bag or will have the opportunity to take a reusable bags home with a $25 purchase. The goal of making this switch is not only to reduce waste, but to inspire a change in behavior when it comes to taking bags at the store check-out.
Following this impactful effort by Gazelle Sports stores, the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon will be going bag-free at the Expotique. Bags will not be provided. We want to invite you to bring your own reusable bag to use for your Expotique goodies.
We plan to continue using the clear plastic drawstring bags for gear check on race day. While zero waste is close to our hearts, we understand the need to keep your personal gear safe while keeping our security standards high. All you need to do is pick up a bag at gear check on race morning, put your items in it, attach your bib tag, and hand it over to a smiling volunteer.
Thank you for helping us contribute to a greener Grand Rapids!