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Trail running and respect for the environment: tips and activities for all those who love the mountain.


La Sportiva strongly encourages and believes in respect for the environment: Here we are with some smart tips for all the moutain lovers and the best activities in order to leave only footprints, no rubbish

Whether out for a run or just a pleasant stroll, mountain enthusiasts may, unfortunately, find more than just flowers and mushrooms along their paths, as scattered rubbish is becoming a common sight.  This unpleasant encounter is, sadly, a clear indication of how some people fail to comprehend the importance of the environment that surrounds us and, consequently, fail to respect it.

La Sportiva, a company that has decided to keep its Headquarters in the very heart of the mountains, strongly encourages and believes in respect for the environment.  To demonstrate this the company proposes many initiatives aimed at minimizing environmental impact, while still maintaining the awareness that one can and should always improve. From the large waste disposal facilities to the eco-friendly products made from 80 to 95% recycled material,  many actions can help to develop environmental awareness.  
It is important to remember that all of our actions have an impact on nature and that is why adopting simple green habits can make a big difference and can help to preserve the “natural playground” that welcomes us every day, the mountains.

DO NOT THROW RUBBISH

One good habit is to bring a plastic bag with you on trips and pick up any litter you find, from cigarette butts to aluminium cans, from energy bar wrappers to gel.  Mountain enthusiasts should also avoid throwing away objects on the ground or leaving them lying there.  Litter is an  unpleasant sight to see, but above all, it can be dangerous and unhealthy for the environment and for plants and animals.  This simple solution may seem quite easy and obvious to many however, it can often prove quite difficult for athletes taking part in a mountain running race, who do not have large enough backpacks or pockets to carry their rubbish in.
For this reason many trail races have adhered to the “I don’t leave my rubbish” campaign created by Spirito Trail. The aim of this green campaign, is to raise awareness of all trailers, athletes and event organizers of the need to respect nature and the environment: in addition it leads to the immediate disqualification of any athlete found throwing rubbish on the ground.  The participating races set up their refreshment points in the most eco-sustainable ways possible, avoiding the use of plastic cups and placing more points for waste collection along the track.  This rule, should be   part of every race and rules and fines should not be necessary to discourage the disposal of rubbish in nature, respect for nature should be part of the personal ethics of each individual.

VOLUNTEERING

Another widespread practice in the USA and which we hope will soon spread in Europe, is volunteering on the trails. The idea originated on long distances races, where top runners  are often seen helping out (it is a common sight to see the big names in ultra-running serving soup or filling up water bottles at the refreshment stations), and today it is a system widely used for shorter distance races too.
In fact, “lending a hand” has become so important that many long distant races require potential athletes to have served a minimum of 8 hours of voluntary service (certified by the park rangers) in the area where the race will take place, before being able to enrol as a participant.  The idea of “taking care” of the race area definitely helps the runner to think twice before throwing rubbish to the ground. These “take care of your trail” events are organized and managed by the park rangers who, alongside the volunteers, prepare the race route and help keep it clean.  This allows the other “members” to get to know each other and spend some time together before the race.

Traditionally, ultra-running has always been a sport that unites athletes and these activities help to keep it so, despite the increasing number of participants.   Respect for the environment is important always however, not just when racing, it is part of our everyday life, every night spent in a bivouac, every time we are outdoors.  Wherever we are, Let’s try and leave only footprints, no rubbish! 

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