Community partners Aquafina, Ameren UE, Waste Management and Schlafly join green initiative
ST. LOUIS - (March 30, 2009) - GO! St. Louis, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that specializes in presenting fitness events and programs for the region on a year-round basis, has announced an effort to decrease the carbon footprint of the GO! St. Louis Family Fitness Weekend, which draws 20,000 competitors and an estimated 30,000 additional spectators. The 9th edition will be held on April 18 & 19, 2009 in Forest Park and downtown St. Louis. GO! St. Louis will be joined in the effort by Aquafina, Pure Power by Ameren UE, Waste Management and Schlafly Beer.
"Prior to last year's event, we made it a priority to produce an event that was more green-friendly and we made some great strides towards that goal, so in 2009 we wanted to build upon that effort," said Nancy Lieberman, GO! St. Louis president. "We have aligned ourselves with community partners that are at the forefront of many local and national green initiatives, which will greatly enhance the experience. With any large-scale event, a great deal of stress is put on our environment, so we will continue to look for ways to reduce the impact."
Aquafina® launched its national green campaign last year at the GO! St. Louis weekend and has spent the past year, visiting communities to educate and provide support to large-scale events such as MLB's 2008 All-Star Concert in New York's Central Park and Marine Corps Marathon in Virginia. Aquafina returns in 2009 with a renewed commitment to make the race one of the greenest in the United States. Aquafina's green team will be very visible in and around the finish line and family reunion areas. Look for more than 20 kiosks and recycling bins in high traffic areas. In addition, Aquafina will be introducing the new Eco-Fina Bottle™, the lightest half-liter bottle of any nationally distributed bottled water brand in the market. With this innovation, Aquafina has reduced the amount of plastic in its half-liter package by 50% since 2002.
"Consistent with GO! St. Louis' intent to reduce their impact on the environment and provide environmental leadership, we are proud to provide water in our new Eco-Fina Bottle™, as well as recycling support for the event," said Andrea Seek, Aquafina Senior Brand Manager. "Events of this kind increase awareness of the importance of recycling and encourage people to recycle in their everyday lives."
Pure Power by Ameren UE is a new partner in 2009 and will essentially eliminate energy consumed during two-day Health & Fitness Expo by purchasing emission-free energy certificates from Missouri Wind. This effort is a carbon reduction equivalent to taking eight cars off the road for a year and means cleaner air for runners and walkers. Ameren UE stepped to the forefront of the local energy offset effort in 2007 by launching Pure Power, which now has numerous companies and organizations participating. In addition, the program has offset carbon emissions at events such as St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues games and various concerts and local festivals.
Waste Management joins the effort by coordinating the collecting, sorting and recycling of thousands of pounds of waste generated over the fitness weekend. Waste Management volunteers will be stationed around the finish line area to monitor and remind participants to dispose of waste in an earth-friendly manner.
Waste Management is a national leader in reducing the amount of waste produced residentially, commercially and for numerous large events.
Schlafly Beer, a local brewery and community partner for many of the region's festivals and events, will be serving participants post-race beer in recyclable cups. As an overall company commitment, Schlafly promotes green living by purchasing energy certificates to offset power and coordinate programs that encourage recycling of cardboard six-pack carriers and glass bottles.
The City of Saint Louis along with green partner Pepsi Americas will provide additional recycling support during the weekend. The City of Saint Louis has championed the local green effort by assisting and encouraging large events and festivals to produce events that are green-friendly.
In addition to the support provided by the green community partners for the weekend, GO! St. Louis overall commitment includes contracting with Johnny on the Spot to use earth-friendly chemicals in more than 270 restroom facilities, utilizing more than 110,000 bio-degradable cups at various sections along the race course and promoting the use of alternative transportation to and from the event.
The GO! St. Louis Family Fitness Weekend is a two-day event with races for all ages and fitness levels. The various races take place in Forest Park on Saturday, April 18 and downtown St. Louis (13th & Market Street) on Sunday, April 19. The weekend features a Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay, 5K run / walk, Read, Right & Run Marathon, Children's Fun Runs and a Mature Mile. For additional information, visit: GOstlouis.org.