What can we do about gel packets’ non-recyclable packaging? What do we want companies to do and what can we do?

I know this is a frustrating one. I struggle with this one often. Here is the way I look at it though. If you are asking this question, like me, you likely go out of your way in most situations to avoid waste. You put a lot of effort into daily life that most people do not think (or to be honest, care) about, taking those steps to do that. 

When it comes to racing or to running in general, this is something that helps you to be the best version of you, and if there were an option, you would take it. If there were a way to carry fuel some other way, you would do that (but the problem is, the alternative is ziplock bags, and those are probably worse than our gel packets!). Give yourself a bit of compassion with this one as it is such a small dent in the grand scheme of things. I am confident some of the major brands are working on a solution, but we have to give them a chance to figure it out; it’s gotta be a tough thing to do. 

Remind yourself that 71% of global emissions come from 100 companies, and the teeniest percentage of the population is the super rich and they do the most damage. It’s one thing to care and to encourage others to do the same, but we can’t drive ourselves insane when it’s not really going to make a huge difference. Letting go of some things is the best way to work through this at this point.

The second part of the question is what to do about the companies themselves. As I have said often with climate change, the biggest thing we can do is to keep talking about it. So reach out to the brands whose products you use, tag them on social media, ask them what they are doing to change their global emissions and maybe even ask them for their carbon number. If we show them that sustainability is important enough to us to take time out of our day to reach out to them, they will listen. Write them a letter, an email, or call them up, or at minimum, use a platform like Twitter (although that’s far less effective, unless you have friends who will retweet or respond).  Talking about it is our biggest tool, and it works to make change.

If you have a question that you’d like answered, you can email kat@runningforreal.com and she’ll pass it along to Tina!

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