Leave No Trace: Eco-Friendly Running Tips

By Laura Cummings

The pull of a trail run is arguably the natural beauty of the scenery – the wild environments, nature trails, expansive lake views and coastal scenes. One of the worst things for a trail runner (or hiker) is to spot litter along a route, spoiling the view and the countryside around them. Whilst most “outdoorsy” folk would never dream of littering, unfortunately some do.

eco friendly 1.jpg

At Contours, we are very passionate about looking after the trails and environment around us and tackling this issue is becoming ever more pressing. The British countryside is a wonder that should be enjoyed for years to come, and there are a few things you can consider when out on the trails to help the environment and push for eco-friendly tourism:

  1. The first is fairly obvious – do not litter! Take all of your litter home with you and recycle it if you can.
  2. Instead of buying energy gels or packed foods, you could make your own running snacks - such as flapjacks - or take fresh fruit with you. That way you can control the amount of rubbish you have and also what is in your food.
  3. Take a carrier bag – this way if you spot any litter along the trail, you could always pick it up and dispose/recycle it later (assuming it is safe to do so).
  4. Volunteer! National Parks in the UK need volunteers to help them maintain the glorious trails they have to offer. This can include litter picking, placing signs or clearing routes to help fungi/wildflowers/wildlife, and it also has the feel good factor of helping out whilst learning about the environment. Contours love to volunteer and give back to the destinations we use on our walking and running holidays.
  5. Keep to the trail - it can often be tempting to venture off-route and explore a different area, however this may be causing damage to the flora/fauna that you are treading on. Sticking to the trail allows this damage to be minimised.

eco friendly 2.jpg

Environmentally conscious runners can keep trails beautiful for future runners and allow everyone to bask in the glory of the views ahead, and with so many gorgeous trails on offer, why would anyone want to spoil them?!

Originally published 25/09/18

Top posts