Marathon of Waste

At my daughters elementary school the parents volunteer to help with a project called morning mile. Each school morning, the kids that participate, get to school 30 min early so they can run laps around the playground. Every lap earns you a straw and five straws is equal to one mile. It is a great activity for kids and helps keep them in shape. Each runner has a paper shoe with their name and every time they reach a milestone (5, 10, 15 miles etc) their shoe advances down the track displayed on the cafeteria wall.  This activity is what gets my child to school every morning.

If you were able to run a minimum of 25 miles between October and February, then you were eligible to participate in the “Five Points of Life Kids Marathon”.  (My daughter has run 75 miles so far. Oh so proud!)

This past Saturday was the marathon. The kids would run 1.2 miles, to add to their 25 miles, for a total of 26.2 miles. It was a huge event and all the elementary schools that had morning mile participated. There was even a regular adult marathon and half marathon the next day. Several businesses participated in the event and a lot of free stuff was handed out. Publix gave away bananas and bottled water. I think the local blood donation center was giving away peanut butter crackers and granola bars.

Here’s the part I did not like. All the waste ended up in trash cans.

Now I can’t expect everyone to compost. And I don’t even know what could have reasonably been done with all the banana peels, but gimme a break! Water bottles not getting recycled? It was a crime I tell you a crime! The event was on a college campus, and a college that is “going green”. So where were the recycle bins? We did not recycle any water bottles. Crime you say? No, because I have taken a pledge not to drink bottled water unless I am dying of dehydration. So we did not even need to recycle. We actually brought our own refillable, reusable, washable. Since it was pretty hot for a run at 3pm, my daughter did have a paper cup of cold water from a water jug(refillable 5 gal kind). I guess we need to remember to bring our own cups wherever we go if we want to seriously cut down on trash.

 So I intend to write those involved and let them know how disappointed I am in their lack of environmental forethought. Maybe it will make a difference for the next event.



  1. Mommalynne said,

    February 25, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Write a letter to the editor of the paper too. That will have a more public effect.

  2. wasteweardaily said,

    February 25, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks, I think I will do that. I sent off one to the race organizers already. One down two to go.

  3. Andrea said,

    February 27, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    I was reading an article that was talking about how many plastic bottles people use/consume on a daily basis now… it was incredible. I have always tried to re-use bottles that I use, but I am trying to be more aware and just not purchase them (like you said -unless you are really really thirsty). I was also reading in that article that something like only 20 % of the bottles actually get recycled. I don’t know what it is involved in recycling the plastic, or if the process causes green house gasses… I haven’t had time to delve that deeply into it. I had my mom and her husband read the article too, because they will come home with cases of bottled water from Sams club- at least they wash them and try to reuse the bottles as many times as possible & they do recycle, so I am proud of them for that. I try to carry one of those travel cups with a lid and drink my water from that… luckily, my boss buys those big 5 gal water from the culligan water filtering service and they come pick them up and sterilize and refill them. Wow- there are so many things to think about all the time… I think people get overwhelmed and that’s why it seems easier to not try sometimes. I feel like if I keep at least trying in little areas, it will eventually make a big impact down the line. I wish I could afford solar for my house… that’s a day dream I have. If I win the lottery today ($133 million)- I will start a non-profit organization that helps lower income families convert their homes to solar power… that would be cool.

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