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.
Ten vendors greeted fans as they entered Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies, Community Energy, EPA, Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Food Policy Advisory Council, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Recyclebank, Revolution Recovery, The Schuylkill Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Waste Management shared with fans ways in which they can be more sustainable in their communities.
Other highlights from the night:
- All fans in attendance received an MLB Network Reusable Tote which includes the Phillies’ Red Goes Green logo.
- Shawn Garvin, Regional Administrator for the U.S. EPA Mid-Atlantic Region, threw out a first ball.
- Base jewels showcased the Red Goes Green logo.
- Elliott Karetny, a ninth grade teacher at Timber Creek Regional High School in Erial, NJ, was recognized on field pre-game as the winner of the second annual Red Goes Green Sustainability Initiative Contest, sponsored by Citizens Bank. Elliott leads his students in many projects, including performing energy audits in their classrooms, composting and maintaining a 1,000 square foot rain garden that serves as an outdoor classroom.
- Volunteers for the Red Goes Green Team, sponsored by Waste Management, assisted with recycling efforts by collecting aluminum and plastic bottles throughout the seating bowl during the game.
- The Phillies’ exhibit featured a 7 ft. Phanatic made from moss that was created and designed by the Phillies’ landscaping team and featured at the 2015 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show.
The Phillies announced on Earth Day that they have partnered with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) again for the fourth year in a row on Home Runs for Trees. For each home run hit by a player this season, a tree will be planted in the fall. Over the past three years, over 400 trees have been planted through this program.
The partnership also includes a complimentary tree giveaway of 250 trees for fans. Over 600 “Phillies” trees have been distributed to fans since the inception of this program.
For more information on the Phillies’ Red Goes Green program, visit www.phillies.com/redgoesgreen.