Runners in Vermont’s Mad Marathon offset more than 30,000 pounds of carbon emissions this month by purchasing trees through Manomet’s Clear Water Carbon Fund.
The trees were offered as an option to offset the carbon emissions of runners’ travel to and from the race.
“The trees will be planted along unforested river and stream banks in Vermont to protect clean water, help stabilize the banks, form riparian buffer zones and allow vegetation and wildlife to flourish,” said Manomet Program Manager Ethel Wilkerson, who coordinates the Fund. “Forested riverbanks provide a dependable and cost effective strategy for protecting clean water.”
Over 1,200 runners from 46 states and 8 countries participated in the Mad Marathon. While the race has been taking place since 2011, this is the first year that runners were given the option to purchase trees through the Clear Water Carbon Fund.
“Eight percent of the runners who were given the option to offset their travel through the Clear Water Carbon Fund did so,” said Wilkerson. “The trees planted from these contributions will remove over 30,000 pounds of carbon emissions, which is equivalent to the emissions of driving 35,000 miles, or from Boston to Los Angeles and back five times.”
Participants in the race were given two options for purchasing offsets based on travel distance. Runners driving from the Mid Atlantic, Quebec or New England could purchase a $4 offset, while those flying within the continental U.S. could purchase a $15 offset.
Over the past two years, the Clear Water Carbon Fund has planted over 1,500 trees in Maine and Vermont, reforesting approximately six acres of watershed. The Fund differs from other tree planting organizations and carbon offset programs by allowing people to simultaneously reduce atmospheric carbon and invest in projects that benefit their local communities and local water quality.
Runners in next year’s Mad Marathon will also have the option to offset their travel and promote the health of Vermont’s waterways and the environment through the Clear Water Carbon Fund.
For more information about the Clear Water Carbon Fund’s work, visit http://www.clearwatercarbonfund.org/. To learn more about the Mad Marathon and to register for next year’s race, visit http://www.madmarathon.com/.
– Haley Jordan