Through competing and organising I have become acutely aware of how much waste, packaging, shipping and general carbon footprint can occur in the event world. We want to reduce this.
We are going to have a set of swim hats for all our swim events. They will be high-quality, number-printed, and made in the UK. We will hand them out at registration of each event and collect them in at the end. We will be donating our remaining surplus swim hats from previous events to local swim clubs in Tywyn, Machynlleth and Aberystwyth.
We have never given out medals as we have always seen them as a waste of the earth's resources, however we have always given out a race souvenir to all participants. These have always had a use, such as our local slate coasters (made from slate quarried 15 miles away), our bottle-opener fridge magnets, customised bottles of beer, our re-usable race cups, and our CADAIR X mugs. There is room for improvement here and we are working on it.
T-SHIRTS, HOODIES & MORE
We have been looking into options regarding a supplier of high-quality, organic, sustainable and ethically produced hoodies (UK based). Really pleased to announce we have now found a suitable supplier - Teemill. Made to order from organic cotton using low waste printing technology in a wind-powered factory. No plastic packaging, free deliveries every last weekend of the month!
There is a train station 5 minutes walk from our Aberdovey swims, which runs from Birmingham, Aberystwyth and Pwllheli; and a bus stop 30 seconds walk from our Tal Y Llyn swims & CADAIR X, which runs between Dolgellau and Tywyn. We have informally helped with car shares via our facebook page. We are now going to actively encourage, and help to facilitate this for all future events.
KEEPING IT LOCAL
We are proud that all of our water safety team & marshals live within 12 miles of our events. They are experienced & qualified outdoor professionals who live and work on the coastlines, rivers & mountains of South Snowdonia, year round, all seasons, whatever the weather. Our Professional Event Photographer, Dan Wyre, also lives within this 12 mile radius. We also work closely with Dovey Yacht Club and The Tyn Y Cornel Hotel. Our nutrition partner WILD TRAIL Snacks is based just 4 miles from Aberdovey and 10 miles from Tal Y Llyn, that's pretty local. The bars are produced on site and I pick them up myself when passing through Tywyn.
We are working with our prize partners HEAD Swimming, SMOCSMOC (bamboo based products), and SELKIE Swim Co. to further reduce waste & carbon footprint. This may take time to develop but we are moving in the right direction.
We will continue to limit numbers of participants to a maximum of 200 (most of our events have a maximum of 100), we feel it's a better experience for everyone this way.
We are a member of the SURFERS AGAINST SEWAGE 250 Club, funded by 50p from every entry.
As a competitor I have never liked race numbers, some folks keep them as a memento but many just throw them away. For CADAIR X we went old school with a black marker pen. We are currently looking for a system that aligns with our ethos, if we can't then we will persevere with the marker pen approach.
Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. We are far from perfect but we have made a start, more work to be done...