Eco-running is the combination of recreational running in which the runner collects the litter that is found along the path travelled. I’ve seen a few people actually do this in Central Park – three or four times – With Eco-Running its principals are this: While you are out running, collect the trash that you find along the pathways, roads and trails. Stay on the move if possible — Try to maintain your running motion while bending down to pick up the trash. I’ve heard of this and the founder of this movement, a young runner out of Milwaukee named Sam Huber, that’s him on the left below – carrying the bag full of trash – and not just any bag – he only carries bio-degradable bags (Bio Bags like those on the right).
I for one, love this idea. It’s so easy to keep a plastic bag with you. Sure, if you’re training for a race, maybe it’s not the best training method, but if you’re just running to run, why not pick up some trash? Sounds simple enough, no? A simple and wonderful idea that 27-year old Sam Huber has founded. He runs on trails, streets, beaches, wherever he can. Sam came to the realization that running 60-90 miles a week in preparation for his next marathon or event could be considered self-indulgent – I know, I’ve done it & will do it again, however he decided that he could use that time to also give back to the environment that so often inspired his activities and presto, the “eco-running” movement was born.
Again, sounds logical – however only problem is I don’t run with latex protective gloves on, disease and germs spread wonderfully via hand/fingers touching your skin, I might want to later in the run wipe my brow with my hands, and then instantly I’ve transferred the germs from my hand to my face…bacteria, viruses, protozoans, fungi,…who knows what’s on the litter on the ground in Central Park…furthermore the fact is we men touch our penis when urinating – what if I need to pee on my run?….. instantly thegerms have now traveled to my penis – lovely – I now have germs on my face and penis – all from trying to do a good deed for the environment? I don’t know if that’s a trade off I’m willing to make – in all honesty. I made it to 44 years old without an STD, do you think I’m going to blow it now by picking up some germ laden piece of wrapper debris laying on the ground in Central Park?…and have to explain away this rash on my lip or penis? Think about it, would you let your toddler, a young child, pick up some random litter on the ground with no pharmaceutical protection whatsoever?
Of course not – Sorry, I am not that ecologically benevolent. You can’t just have emotionally heart warming immediate reactions to these things, on first blush it sounds great….however you have to think full circle on this stuff…Until there is a latex glove designed for runners? I will not be picking up trash on the ground in Central Park, if that makes me a horrible person….fine. I am a horrible person that’s healthy with no disease or germs on his hands, face, and penis. I can live with that. There’s a reason the professionals that do pick up litter in Central Park are wearing gloves and sometimes face mask! I would rather pay more taxes and let a trained professional pick up the trash coupled with fining those who litter hundreds of dollars! Have a great day!