> The Fifteenth Presentation > Special Interest > Going Green

Going Green

Click HERE to view the Green Marathon video shown at the Running USA 2012 Conference in Houston, TX.  Big Sur Events lead the way!

The Big Sur Half Marathon takes place next to the Monterey Bay which showcases one of the most scenic and pristine stretches of coastline in the country. The Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary was designated a Federally protected marine area offshore California's Central Coast in 1992. 

We welcome runners and walkers to join us in November for a chance to run or walk along the "ragged edge of the western world."  Because our organization understands the importance and urgency of developing ecologically and environmentally sound practices surrounding our events, we are taking steps to increase our environmental sustainability.  Our events impact the surrounding Monterey Peninsula communities and our efforts to "reduce, re-use, and recycle" go a long way towards keeping our destination cities both "green and pristine."

Offset Project The Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay would like to thank the Offset Project for their involvement with our events.  Click HERE to see TOP's Case Study. 
                                      The Monterey Bay
What we are doing

Below are some of the measures taken to divert waste, in turn saving us money by reducing hauling costs and disposal fees:

  • Recycling bottles, cans, plastic and cardboard.  In fact, there will be no trash can at the finish.
  • Upcycling GU packets into reusable bags through a partnership with TerraCycle
  • Composting food waste, including utensils, plates, and clear cups 
  • Upcycling Heat Sheets through a program called Blankets to Boards
  • Diverting wooden pallets for reuse
  • Donating leftover food to the Monterey County Food Bank
  • Donating abandoned clothing for reuse
  • Encouraging participants, especially our walkers, to take part in our "BYOB" program which reduces the number of paper cups used on the course

Other environmental choices with a positive impact include:

  • Reducing paper waste by offering participants our Virtual Race Bag which allows participants to print only what they are interested in.
  • Product selection, such as the purchase of compostable plates, cups, and utensils
  • Choosing biodegradable toilet paper for use in porta-potties
  • Using a triple green certified printing company for all printed materials
  • 100% paperless registration
  • Renting/borrowing tents, fencing, vehicles (re-using, rather than purchasing)
  • Producing a Virtual Results Book viewable online
  • Reducing our carbon footprint by encouraging participants to come to the event via a carpooling service (link coming soon) or by using our Bike Valet program.
Cups to Compost
Check out this great video...these efforts really work!

What People Are Saying

“The Big Sur International Marathon’s Green Team has raised the bar in zero waste efforts,” stated Kristin Cushman of The Offset Project, who helped guide the waste diversion program.

William Merry, General Manager of the MRWMD noted, “The logistics posed by the course of the Big Sur Marathon make it a particularly challenging coordination issue, and costs for recycling and waste pick up are no doubt higher because of that than at some other marathon course layouts. Yet the marathon’s leadership has worked over the last 10 years, one step at a time to persistently move forward with recycling, reduction of litter and reducing waste, thereby leading the way for other marathons and large venue events to reduce their waste.”

Big Sur's BYOB Refill Program

BYOB stands for "Bring Your Own Bottle" and represents an effort on the part of race organizers to reduce the usage of paper cups at aid stations.  If you wish to participate, you can carry one or more bottles that can be refilled at the BYOB refill station on the Half Marathon course.           

While not mandatory for runners, BYOB is a great alternative for those out there to enjoy the beauty of the course.  We strongly encourage all walkers to participate in BYOB.

Some Green Links

Looking for alternative lodging? Check out the Monterey Hostel, Veteran's Memorial Park and the Marina Dunes RV Park.

Live local? Consider public transportation. Flying in to San Jose or San Francisco? Take the Airbus to Monterey.

Water conservation is important during your stay on the Monterey Peninsula...and should be just as important in your home town.  For some great water conservation tips, click HERE.

Runners probably go through 3 to 10 pairs of shoes in a year. What do you do with your old ones? Look for the shoe collection barrels at the Big Sur Half Expo and at the Custom House Plaza at the finish.  Last year we collected 250 pairs of shoes!