Keep up momentum of going green at events

I applaud the organisers of the Sundown Marathon for initiating Singapore's first sustainable marathon (Go green with Sundown Marathon; March 17).

I hope that this is not a one-off event and that environmental sustainability is championed in subsequent races as well as other social events.

While the initiative is for a good cause, organisers would have to assess public receptivity and make adjustments where necessary.

For instance, it was stated that edible water jelly would be given out during the run instead of liquid water in disposable cups.

What runners really need is the replenishment of ions and salts, rather than water.

Hence, a viable solution would be to incorporate hydration salts into the water jelly.

The handling of the water jelly is also an issue that needs to be separately addressed.

As Singapore is still at a budding stage of holding green marathons, other successful examples, like the Walkway Marathon in New York, could provide some direction.

Its organisers have taken the Athletes for a Fit Planet sustainability pledge and are required to include a minimum of 10 "eco-practices" in their races.

These include virtual race packages, recycling and composting receptacles, and a ride-sharing programme, which contributed to a waste diversion rate of 73 per cent last year.

Waste diversion rate is a key performance indicator of a successful recycling programme.

Nonetheless, what is imperative is that we slowly build up a culture where environmental protection becomes a social responsibility.

While challenges are bound to come, I am positive that consistency is the key to garnering public support.

We are, after all, championing a good cause.

Wong Jun Wei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2017, with the headline 'Keep up momentum of going green at events'. Print Edition | Subscribe