OK so after a month of neglecting the Triathlete Chronicles, I feel compelled to fulfil my pledge to support Blog Action Day with a post relating to climate change. Keeping in the theme of the Triathlete Chronicles, I've decided to write about what triathletes can do to reduce their carbon footprint.
1. Act local by supporting local events. Triathletes are quick to jump on a plane to race all over the country and world. Why not support events a little more local? Long course races can be harder to track down, but they're there. In Brisbane, try the Hell of the West instead of flying to Geelong for the 70.3. Yes, I know, you'll still have to drive the four hours to Goondiwindi - but why not car pool for a good old fashioned road trip? Trust me, if you make the effort to look for races that are a little off the beaten track, you will add an unexpected dimension to your racing - you can feel good about injecting something into a small, local community.
2. Go off road. There are more and more off-road triathlons popping up all over the country. Event organisers usually have an ethos of minimum impact, with initiatives such as laminating race numbers and reusing them, BYO swim caps, and using less infrastructure on course. In2Adventure, who run the Tre-X off road triathlons and Teva Adventure Racing Series nationally, publish an environmental policy which governs all their activities.
3. Integrate your training into your commute. Ride or run to work. It takes just a little bit of planning and organisation, but it will actually save you time. Most organisations have showers and bike facilities. In Brisbane's King George Square, the Cycle2City facility houses showers, lockers and a bike mechanic for cycle commuters.
4. Train from home. Instead of driving to training, training, and then driving back home again (or to work, train from home. Training by yourself also adds an extra challenge for some - embrace it, even just for one day a week. You never know, you might just like it!
5. Don't litter. Yes, gel packets are small. Used tubes don't fold up as easily as the new one you take out of your spares bag when you get a puncture. But the effects of litter are varied and serious, whether it be algal blooms, harm to aquatic life, or 'natural' disasters such as bushfires. Planet Ark estimates that Australian federal, state and local governments spend $200million annually to clean up litter, according to this fact sheet put out by the Queensland Government.
Happy Blog Action Day!