In 2009, the Flying Pig started its “Greening of the Pig” recycling program. In that first year, the Flying Pig diverted nearly a ton of plastic water bottles to recycling. Since then, the recycling and compost program has developed into a weekend-long effort.
In 2015 the Flying Pig Marathon diverted 69.6% of its waste by recycling and donations, surpassing the goal of 60%. With 6.45 tons of recycling and 4.98 tons of trash collected, the marathon increased recycling by 59.6% and reduced trash by 75.5% from 2014.
An additional 4.94 tons of finisher’s medals, heat sheets, plastic, paper, clothing and food were recycled or donated through sources such as TREX Blankets to Boards program, Goodwill Industries, EcoSneakers, Two Men and a Truck, Whole Foods and Terra Cycle.
The 2015 the Flying Pig offset 100% of the event’s operations carbon footprint (thanks in large part to the use of a solar-powered golf cart race weekend that was provided by our partner, Xavier University) and offset 25% of long-distance travel with purchases of offset credits through Native Energy.
The Marathon also partners with the community for events, as the Flying Pig charter says, “for athletes of all abilities.” That includes an award-winning Kids Incremental Marathon, a “PigAbilities” route for those with special needs, and a walking program at a local retirement community.
The Marathon offers scholarships to youngsters who cannot afford event entry fees. In 2015, 69 scholarship entries went to children in Cincinnati Recreation programs and 269 scholarships went to YMCA after school participants.
The week before the Marathon the staff partners with neighborhood groups to clean up the race route. At the P&G Health and Fitness Expo before the Marathon, the Flying Pig Green Zone educates participants about the “Greening of the Pig” through interactive displays. Also at the Expo, participants sign up to carpool to the Marathon start line and get preferential parking for their conservation efforts.
The environmental attributes associated with the system will offset more than 2,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually--equivalent to the emissions from 106,529 propane BBQ grills--and it will generate enough power to meet the electricity needs for close to 300 homes beyond the power needs of the Raceway. Pocono Raceway's Solar Farm is able to meet 100% of the facility's power needs as well as offset all of the additional power required by NASCAR during an event at Pocono. During the summer months, the raceway uses approximately 50 sheep to help maintain the grass within the confines of the solar project.