YWCA Women's Triathlon August 2012

Event Overview
Location (City/Venue)
Minneapolis (Lake Nokomis)
Number of Attendees
about 1,000 racers plus thousands of family and supporters
Organization Hosting Event
YWCA
Brief Background on Event
About 1,000 female athletes compete in a 500 yd swim/15 mile bike/2.5 mile run at Lake Nokomis. Race organizers wanted to build upon their low-waste efforts of the last two years, and made a number of sustainability pledges through FitPlanet, such as online-only registration, no disposable plastic water bottles, and composting of all food and serviceware.
Food
Food Practices
Procured locally grown and/or organic foods for event menu
Required safe food handling practices
Used good menu planning and portion control to reduce waste
Implemented a food waste recovery initiative (food to hogs, composting, etc.)
All food was prepared by one volunteer and her family, and they were 100% committed to providing wholesome food with a minimum of waste.
Waste & Recycling
Waste Management Methods Used
Trash Disposal
Recycling
Organics Management (food/paper waste composting, food to hogs, food donation, etc.)
Volume (cubic yards/tons) of Waste Managed
566#
Program Audiences
Recycling - Vendors/Exhibitors
Recycling - Event Participants
Organics Management - Vendors/Exhibitors
Organics Management - Event Participants
Waste Reduction
Waste Reduction Methods Used
Use of technology to minimize paper waste (e.g. online registration, webcasting, no printing of meeting materials)
Other

Committed to only online registration, no paper registration forms
Printed materials (postcards) were printed on certified recycled paper with soy inks.
No plastic water bottles at the finish line.
All cups, plates, napkins, silverware were compostable, courtesy of Ultragreen
Race shirts switched to recycled polyester made by Greenlayer. A "no shirt" option was also included during registration.

Resource and Energy Use
Other
The event encouraged race participants to carpool or bike to the race, and also to offset their carbon footprint by donating to Honor the Earth and The Minnesota Project, local organizations working on energy conservation. Bringing the race to Minneapolis also meant the vast majority of participants traveled a shorter distance to the race, including the race management team that made multiple visits to the site for planning.
Travel and Transportation
Transportation amenities offered at event
Bike racks/parking
Rideshare
Transportation information promoted to event attendees, volunteers, vendors & exhibitors
Bus routes
Bike maps
Pedestrian/Walking Maps
Location Selection
Held event at a venue easily accessible by transit
Additional Information

Racers were encouraged to carpool and connect with others through Google email group, Facebook, or the YWCA Women's Tri group on www.pickuppal.com. Racers were told that even though they may need to drive to bring their bike and gear, their family and fans could take public transit and then ride home with them. They were directed to the Metropolitan Transit website.

Other Initiatives
Please describe any other green initiatiives implemented at your event?
Racers were encouraged to bring their own water bottles and fill up at water stations. Families were encouraged through a newsletter to bring reusable water and coffee containers. Shoes were collected for recycling in partnership with the Recycling Association of Minnesota.
Results
Volume of waste diverted from trash through recycling/organics collection
Organics - 356 lbs. Cardboard - 109.3 lbs. Misc. recycled Items - 63.9 lbs. Plastic bags - 6.4 lbs. Trash - 30.9 lbs.
What has been your biggest success in terms of green initiatives at your event?
We were able to raise our diversion rate of from 92% to 94.5%
What has been your biggest challenge in terms of green initiatives at your event?
Waste that was brought in by friends and family of the racers: disposable coffee cups, diapers, dog refuse, chip and candy bags, etc.
How were the green initiatives received by event attendees and/or vendors?
There was a lot of positive feedback from attendees, who were very happy to see the green initiatives and waste reduction efforts.
Will you plan to implement green initiatives again?
Absolutely!