‘Run Off-the-Grid’ Race
The Run Off-the-Grid is promoted as the race with the smallest footprint and we take this statement seriously. We have a number of green initiatives in place to help reduce the carbon footprint of this event and we continue to make improvements every year.
- The event is hosted at Nature’s Harmony Ecolodge, which is an off-the-grid facility producing the majority of its electrical needs through solar and wind power. Nature’s Harmony is also one of a few accommodation providers in Ontario to obtain an eco-certification accreditation. Nature’s Harmony was recently selected as a finalist in the Sutainable Tourism category of the Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence. The awards are being presented on October 23, 2012. We don’t just talk ‘green’, we live ‘green’!
- Outdoor eco-showers are available to everyone. Rain water is collected, heated passively by the sun or by fire, and gravity fed into the showers.
- Outdoor composting toilet facilities are available. Human waste is composted and used in the landscaping at Nature’s Harmony which completes the human nutrient cycle.
- Trail signage is on permanent posts to reduce the need for flagging tap.
- Drinking water is provided from a natural spring.
- Clearly marked bins are available for waste, recycling and composting. Doggie bins are also available for doggie waste composting.
- Local produce and meats are purchased from Holden’s Hide Away Farm for the post race meal. Other local foods, are selected, where practical.
- All participants, guests and volunteers are asked to bring their own dishes & cutlery to eliminate the use of disposable products. Dishes are washed by everyone individually using the outdoor sink facility with rain water. Biodegradeable soaps are provided for washing.
- Emedia Group prints the race bibs on a biodegradable material that is made of seeds. After the race, participants can plant their bib and if they’re lucky it may bloom into a beautiful flower in the spring.
- Carpooling to the event is encouraged and can be facilitated through the Run Off-the-Grid Facebook page.
- This event promotes local and environmentally friendly businesses.
- As a way of supporting the local community, proceeds from this event are donated to the Mattawa Food Bank.
- Sustainable Living and Off-the-Grid tours are available throughout the weekend.
- Sustainable Travel International (STI) conducts a yearly carbon footprint assessment associated with participant vehicle travel to/from this event. STI provides an estimate of the metric tonnes of carbon emissions produced and provides a cost to fully offset these emissions, through a recognized carbon offsetting program. Proceeds from the event are used to purchase carbon offset credits based on STI’s calculations.
- In 2012, we were honoured to speak at the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference to talk about the Run Off-the-Grid and how sport tourism can contirbute to the economic development and sustainability of the Mattawa Voyageur Country region.
We hope that the Run Off-the-Grid will become a model of best practices for coordinating a green event.