Over the years, running has given many great causes a voice. From your neighborhood kid asking for a quarter for every lap he runs, to world-famous runners using their success to raise awareness, running somehow gives clout to an organization or an idea.
We’ve seen runners raise money for cancer research, clean water, or war veterans. Almost every cause or movement that stems from running seems universally noble. The running community has a wonderful opportunity to do good, whatever your values may be. But one thing that we can all get behind Is working together for the good of the planet.
Use Your Voice for Good
When trail runner Clare Gallagher recently stepped into the scene as one of the best ultrarunners, she knew exactly how she wanted to use her platform. For years she had chosen to live her life to help the earth and reduce her environmental impact. She made the decision to be a vegetarian as a teenager, has been an active voice in her hometown of Boulder, Colorado, and studied marine wildlife worldwide. Wherever Clare is, she is helping by doing her part and teaching others how to do the same.
Clare is now living a dream as a sponsored runner for Patagonia—a company well-known for its environmentally friendly business practices. While she knows that the biggest changes need to come from governments and institutions, she also believes in the difference each individual can make. Big change begins with small actions and Clare is a beacon of hope for a better world.
The Big Picture
When asked how Clare would like to pitch her ideas to those listening, she simply asks people to zoom out. Take a step back and see what is happening in the world today on a major level and how you would like the earth to be in 20, 50 or 200 years.
While critics or skeptics find it hard to see what difference individual thought or action can make, Clare breaks it down to hope. “I encourage you to take the long-term view,” says Clare, “How do you want to leave this planet?” Sometimes it just comes down to living a life of hope, or living a life of doubt.
To understand the big picture, Clare also suggests educating yourself as much as possible. Without knowing some of the basics impacts that our actions are making, it’s hard to find a desire to change our course. Instead of jumping into an argument, or settling on a belief, take time to privately read and listen to good information.
3 Ways to Make a Difference Today
If you are ready to take the next step in making the world a better place, here are three simple things you can do stating today.
Know What You’re Eating
A great place to start is to understand how are eating habits change the world. Food is the most important thing in our lives, and we should treat it that way. Eating more locally grown food and less meat in general (especially beef) is an easy start.
Meat requires more resources than fruits and vegetables and simply picking chicken over beef is significantly different. Buying locally also allows you to have a conversation with a farmer so you can know if the food you’re eating is grown without harmful pesticides. Plus, it’s usually much tastier!
Follow Your Local Government
If you don’t know who is voting for you, you can’t very well reach out to them. Different than national representatives, your local government leaders are more easily accessible. Following them on social media is an easy way to know what they are up to and if they are representing you well. Don’t hesitate to support them when you like what they are doing and call or write to them when they aren’t.
Reuse, Recycle, Reduce
Another well-known practice, using less is hugely impactful. Try things like bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, consciously recycling before throwing away, or buying clothing made from non-virgin materials. There are one million and one ways to reduce our footprint. Try one out!
Our Beautiful Planet
The next time you have an opportunity to run outside, notice the beauty. Even if you live in a big city, far from a nature trail, we have plenty to enjoy. The blue sky, the lazy butterfly, the sturdy trees—runners get to appreciate the world on a regular basis.
I hope you have the chance to take in a deep breath and as you feel the air hit your lungs. realize that when we take care of our home, it takes care of us.
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Thank you to Clare, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.