‘Green the Pig': Flying Pig Marathon works to reduce environmental impact

CINCINNATI - The Flying Pig is well-known for turning the Tri-State pink, but it's making an effort to go green, too.

The Flying Pig is a certified green event and its organizers are encouraging participants, spectators and volunteers to help "Green the Pig." This year, the event will continue to focus on cutting waste, encouraging carpooling and recycling.

"The Flying Pig Marathon has done an outstanding job in cutting back on the amount of waste that goes to the landfill, although there is still some work to do," it says on the event's website .

The Flying Pig has reduced the amount of paper used by no longer printing 85,000 promotional brochures, results books and finisher certificates, which are all now done electronically. Also, the Virtual Goodie Bag introduced in 2011 reduced more than 888,000 pieces of paper waste that year, according to the Flying Pig's website.

Last year marked a turnaround for the race's recycling efforts. During the 2012 race, the Green Team volunteers helped recycle 3.84 tons of material — an increase of more than 240 percent from the 2011 race recycling totals, according to the website. The marathon used compostable cups for part of the course, which helped add to the more than 3.6 tons of composted items — an increase of 25 percent compared to 2011's 2.91 tons of compost.

Donations are part of the race's recycling efforts, too. Participants' clothing left behind at the starting line is donated to Tri-State charities. Also, leftover food from the race recovery area is donated to local food pantries.

Race organizers say participants can help make the Flying Pig a little greener the following ways:

  • Use public transportation: The Flying Pig Marathon is partnering with Metro to make public transportation easy for racers and spectators all weekend. Metro is providing a Flying Pig Day Pass for Sunday, May 5, 2013. The pass will allow you to ride the Metro all day Sunday for one fee of $4.50. For information about Metro's passes and delays, go to http://www.go-metro.com/riding-metro/flying-pig .
  • Carpool to the race: Free parking available to those that carpool on Sunday morning in the back parking lot of the Holiday Office Park, with the parking entrance located on Gest Street between West 6th Street and West 7th Street.
  • Recycle and compost on race day: This year, the Flying Pig will have five different collection containers in each recycling station to collect waste like plastic water bottles, food waste, paper cups, chip bags, mylar blankets and more. The Green Team volunteers will be on hand to help make sure the trash is disposed of properly.

For more information about Greening the Pig and the event's initiatives, go to http://www.flyingpigmarathon.com/green/2012.shtml .

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