Delivering on a commitment to implement programs that preserve natural resources and protect the environment via its GoGreen initiative, USA Triathlon (USAT) has announced that the 2010 USA Triathlon Age Group/Sprint/Elite National Championships earned the FitPlanet Verified Pledge of Sustainability.
Prior to this year’s event, USAT took the FitPlanet Pledge of Sustainability, which "provides event organizers with formal and public recognition for taking steps to become more environmentally responsible."
The pledge requires that any event meet a minimum of 10 eco-practices to qualify. At this year’s event, USA Triathlon adopted a number of green practices. Environmentally sound highlights from the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, event held in September included:
• 125-gallon water coolers on the racecourse at the aid stations instead of plastic bottles
• All plastic, paper and cardboard that was used to ship any product to the race venue was recycled
• A reusable mesh cooler bag was used as the goody bag instead of a plastic bag
• "Pickup Pal" was offered as a way for athletes to share rides to the event and reduce their carbon footprint
• Athletes for a Fit Planet Native Green Tags were available for athletes to purchase to help offset their carbon footprint
• No paper registration was used; event registration was conducted online to reduce paper waste
• At the finish line, athletes were offered pre-filled Gatorade squeeze bottles that they could reuse and take home, which reduced the amount of plastic waste
• Athletes received a tech t-shirt, manufactured by Greenlayer with recycled fabric, rather than a cotton shirt
• All communication with athletes was done via email or the website; nothing was mailed to reduce paper communication
• 90% of the signage at the event will be reused at future events to reduce paper or cardboard waste
• Instead of offering finisher medals, athletes were offered a usable and relevant product – a USA Triathlon blanket
"By taking the Pledge of Sustainability for the Age Group/Sprint/Elite National Championships in Tuscaloosa, USA Triathlon is making a public commitment to produce greener events," said Bruce Rayner, Chief Green Officer of Athletes for a Fit Planet.
"And by verifying the Pledge, USA Triathlon is proving it takes sustainability seriously. FitPlanet looks forward to working with USA Triathlon in 2011 to green all of its events."
Any event that meets qualifying criteria will be listed in FitPlanet’s Green Events Directory, which provides athletes with detailed information about the race, including the specific criteria the event organizer has pledged to implement.
As with USA Triathlon’s National Events staff, other event directors can follow suit and gain access to the FitPlanet Resource Center that includes an online how-to manual for greening their event, a green business directory, access to a monthly webcast and other useful resources that enable them to cost-effectively green their events.
An official supplier and USA Triathlon GoGreen partner for the second consecutive year, FitPlanet is a leading provider of environmental services to organizers of athletic events across North America, including multisport, running, cycling and walking events.