Student airs concerns over heaps of trash at eco-marathon

/ 09:19 AM April 26, 2017

A netizen bravely aired her concerns over a recently concluded eco-marathon held at the SM Mall of Asia.


Romina Lim, a Marine Science student at the University of the Philippines, enumerated the ironies she observed at the NatGeo Earth Day Run 2017 held last Sunday. Although the aim of the marathon was to raise awareness of the environment, she said heaps of paper cups and other trash were evident at the event.

In a Facebook post that has gone viral since Sunday, Lim illustrated the sour reality of the bad practice of some runners participating in eco-marathons. “With the thousands of registrants, more than thousands of cups were used only to be thrown away right after drinking. This left trash scattered throughout the road. Fortunately, there were people who painstakingly cleaned up after the event,” she wrote.

Instead of providing plastic or paper cups, Lim suggested that organizers require marathoners to bring their own bottles and refill it at designated water stations. Plastic cups and paper cups take years to decompose, and since the NatGeo event was held near the Manila Bay, it may be possible for sea creatures to ingest the trash hoarded from the fun run.

Lim expounded, “Bringing a bottle while running is a small sacrifice compared to the Earth we’ll sacrifice just for our convenience. Also, there can be alternatives to bottles e.g. hydration pack or hydration belts which you can also suggest to your runners for their convenience.”

According to her, this simple yet helpful initiative has been done in other eco-runs, including Run for the Pasig River, Citytrail Manila and Clark Runway Color Fun Run. Lim also praised runners at the NatGeo event who disposed of their garbage properly and brought their own water bottles.

With the help of her Facebook anecdote, which has racked up 4,800 shares and 7,900 likes as of this writing, Lim hopes that she can raise awareness about the filthy aftermath of some eco-marathons and persuade organizers to quit using plastic and paper cups.

“Sa tingin ko, mas naka-raise awareness pa ‘yung incident kaysa sa mismong event (In my view, the incident raised more awareness than the event itself),” Lim said in an interview with “Many were alarmed doon sa (with the) amount of trash generated. Many saw the reality of these eco events. Many realized na (that) ‘Ah, there are greener alternatives pala. Many felt guilty after admitting they contributed to the trash.”

She added, “Pero hindi ko sinasabing tanggalin ang fun runs. Sana lang napagplanuhan at na-execute nang maayos ng event organizers (I do not recommend removing fun runs. But I hope the event organizers planned and executed the event accordingly).”  Gianna Francesca Catolico /ra

TOPICS: Earth Day, marathon, NatGeo Earth Day Run 2017, SM Mall of Asia, viral post
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