Our Story

Ecology Runner is a blog about two people doing their best to stay healthy and reduce their overall impact on the environment. We share our journey with you here.


How It All Began…

In April 2007, Sam was on a morning run along the shoreline of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee. The Spring sun’s warmth was finally, yet slowly, taking over winter’s icy grip. However, as he ran, Sam noticed an insane amount of litter exposing itself from the melting snow. Like, enough to make him think, “oh my, such a serene and beautiful view masked by hideous clumps of trash.” So, he decided to do something about it. He found a plastic bag hanging in a tree, and as he ran, he decided to pick up the litter along hi
s path. This simple feel-good act turned into a regular occurrence for the then 27 year-old. He coined the effort Eco-Running, created a blog to tell others, and the Internet took over.

After a week of viral insanity, Eco-Running was known worldwide. Articles in Reuters, Der Spiegel, the Washington Post, the Daily Telegraph, Treehugger, and Grist delivered inspiration to millions. In the coming years, Eco-Runner would inspire race directors
across the world to adopt the Ecology Runner theme: a leave no trace event with the lowest carbon footprint possible. These included the Carlsbad Marathon (US), the Sierra-Cascade Adventure Race Series (US), the Tarawera Ultra (New Zealand), the Royal Raid (Mauritius), and the Oxfam Trailwalker (Australia).

Sam has also served as an official spokesperson for the Smucker’s ® Natural Peanut Butter ™ Simple Choices Simply Powered By You Campaign and a model for Newton Running’s Hello Better Campaign. Since 2008, Ecology Runner articles have appeared in Fitness Magazine, Shape Magazine, Runner’s World US and UK, Reuters, Milwaukee Magazine, and Fox News.

What’s It All About…

Over the years, Ecology Runner has become about much more than just exercising and trash cleanup.
This idea, however small, made a difference in a big way. It gets you thinking about personal responsibility, and the importance of reducing your ecological footprint.

Today, Sam, together with his wife Jen, are doing their best to lessen their impact on the environment in their daily lives. Ecology Runner is a place for them to share their personal journey. The blog chronicles the actions and commitments they are making to reduce their own footprint, and hopefully inspire and engage others to do the same. As individuals, they aim to take action, inspire others, engage friends, and involve community leaders to address social and ecological concerns to help society build a sustainable way of life for all.

The time is now. You can reduce your footprint, improve your quality of life, and influence policy so that future generations have the same opportunities to enjoy rich and rewarding lives. Join us, and get inspired!