Environmental Stuff

thumb_IMG_0944_1024.jpgAs triathletes we’re used to being a little bit more aware of our natural world, simply because we spend so much time outside doing our sport. But it can’t hurt to remind ourselves of a few simple ways we can be a bit more environmentally responsible.

Only going a short distance? Why not cycle, run or walk rather than drive? You’ll save money and you could count it as a cheeky extra training session.

Support local events.

If heading to an event outside the local area, how about car sharing? Make new friends and save on petrol costs whilst cutting down on your emissions. Use the Portsmouth Triathletes Forum page on Facebook to see who is heading to the same events as you.

Think about your purchasing decisions, try to buy from local or more sustainable sources. 

Sell, swap or recycle your unwanted kit. I’m sure we’ve all got cupboards full of stuff we can hardly remember buying, so check out Triathlon Buy & Sell on Facebook, handily administered by a couple of our very own Pompey triathletes.

Keep an eye out for our occasional innertube amnesties, we’ll let you know when and where, but keep your punctured tubes and we’ll send them off to a charity that supports educational projects in Africa.

Alternatively, don’t feel you have to wait for the amnesty, post your tubes to Cycle of Good at Krizevac Project, Atlas Works, Paragon Road, Longton, Stoke on Trent, ST3 1NR.

Companies like Cornwall-based Freeze Pro Shop also recycle old wetsuits and give you 10% in their online shop in exchange. They sell more surfing style suits, but it’s still a good way of disposing of your old neoprene. Alternatively, if your suit is in relatively good nick, take it down to the hut so people without a suit can borrow one and nip in for a swim.

If you see any other innovative ways of recycling kit—e.g., trainers, we all must have loads of old pairs of those, and swim hats—post it on the Forum.

Don’t litter on rides and runs; dispose of your gel wrappers and other rubbish properly. If you can’t find a bin, take it home with you. Eating on the move is a good skill to learn for racing too, organisers will quite rightly DQ you for purposefully dropping litter on the bike course. 

Single-use plastics
Be aware of the effect our waste (particularly plastic) has on our seas. Let’s reduce those unnecessary single-use plastics. Bring a reusable cup if you plan on getting a takeaway coffee to warm you up post swim and refuse unnecessary plastic straws and utensils. Follow Plastic Free Portsmouth on Facebook for more tips.

Beach cleans
Get involved in a beach clean. Southsea Beachwatch post regular events on their Facebook page, as do Surfers Against Sewage.

But if you can’t join an official clean, how about simply aiming to pick up three pieces of rubbish every time you visit the beach, or conduct your own #2minutebeachclean?

Learn a little more about our coastal wildlife. The Marine Conservation Society has some great info on what you might expect to find in our waters—handy for identifying the odd jellyfish you swim into. They’re also keen to hear about your wildlife sightings, so share your stories.

Air quality
The air quality in Portsmouth is not great. An over-abundance of vehicles and shipping are some of the main contributors to high nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter levels (PM2.5, PM10) in the city. Try not to be running alongside main roads at peak times, instead choose streets with fewer vehicles where you can, plus the parks and prom. And remember you’re probably still better off cycling than being trapped in a metal box sucking up someone else’s exhaust fumes.

And finally, let’s set a good example and pass on a responsible attitude to the next generation of triathletes.