This article was posted on Monday, June 18th, 2012
Saturday’s Tri-Loppet participants will be trotting through the forest with a lighter foot print than ever before. This years racers will be enjoying the green canopy of Minneapolis’ lush park system minus the waste usually associated with large events.
While the Loppet has always made recycling, composting, and car-pooling and/or biking to the events priorities, the Loppet decided to eliminate paper goodie bags this year and put coupons and promotional materials online. “We decided to eliminate goodie bags after seeing how many of the contents were just tossed out,” said Outreach Coordinator Ingrid Remak who is enthusiastic about the organization’s decision. “In our post race survey of the Loppet this year, we asked racers if they thought an on-line race bag would be more valuable than a paper goodie bag. People responded ‘yes’, convincing us that an online race bag is not a compromise- but an improvement on all fronts.”
Loppet webmaster Charlie Keller, who is assembling the online Loppet Race Bags, agreed. “We will be able to send out the race bags a few days before the event. Sponsors will have the opportunity to include material that will bring more people to their booths on race day, and participants will be able to access coupons and specials that can be pulled up on smart phones and available to use in a much more practical way.”
While the event is not completely “waste free”- Loppet Race Bags take the Tri-Loppet one step closer to this goal. “It would be short sided to celebrate the parks without being sensitive to the ecological footprint of our events,” said Remak. “We promote lifelong outdoor recreation, and we need to make choices that support that vision.”