In an effort to reduce the environmental impact of its events, the London Marathon will be offering runners the option to opt out of receiving a finisher tee for the first time ever.
Instead, race organisers London Marathon Events (LME) will be working with Trees Not Tees throughout 2023 to offer participants the option to have a tree planted in their name in the UK.
Trees Not Tees is an organisation that works with event organisers to tackle the climate crisis. For every participant who chooses to have a tree planted instead of receiving a tee, Trees Not Tees will plant a sapling in its sustainable reforestation project in the UK. In return, participants will receive a personalised digital certificate with a photo of their tree and a What3words geolocation code so they can visit their tree if they’d like to.
This initiative is part of LME’s wider sustainability efforts for 2023 aimed at reducing the environmental impact of its events, with a focus on lowering carbon emissions, cutting waste and improving circularity.
It takes the same amount of water that a person drinks in two-and-a-half years plus over 2kg of CO2 to make a single cotton t-shirt.
The environmental cost of making a t-shirt is significant. It takes the same amount of water that a person drinks in two-and-a-half years plus over 2kg of CO2 to make a single cotton t-shirt. If the tee is never worn, all of those resources have been spent for nothing, and the item is likely to end up in a landfill, contributing to the global waste crisis.
Planting a tree, on the other hand, has a hugely positive effect on the environment. Trees help to fight against climate change by taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and providing a home for a diverse range of species.
According to Hugh Brasher, event director at LME, the organisation is fully committed to reducing its environmental impact and plans to introduce more sustainability initiatives every year to achieve this. While finisher tees are an important part of many people’s event experience, many participants share the passion for environmental sustainability.
It’s always nice getting something “for free” such as a race t-shirt but have a think about whether you can live without it and give a little something back,