Green Policies

The Portland Marathon is proud to be Green…all at no additional expense to our participants. We work together with our sponsors, charities and all-volunteer committee to implement and expand upon our green practices before, during and after the marathon, as well as throughout the year while the event is in its planning stages—including committee meetings, celebrations, the Sports Exposition, Event Director’s College, on-course and at the start/finish areas. These efforts are outlined below:


  1. Reducing the amount of landfill waste per person/participant/volunteer/etc.
  2. Doing on site recycling of cardboard, glass, plastic, paper, etc (PGE, Waste Management)
  3. Preventing food waste by distributing leftovers to a local food charity
  4. Upgrading to sanitation systems that are more environmentally friendly human systems (Clear Water Sanitation-Tualatin)
  5. Using cups, bags and other products that come from sponsors that are as biodegradable as possibly available
  6. Donation of clothing left behind to charity. Even the space blankets left behind by participants in the start/finish area find a new home with one of our volunteer teams from a local non-profit organization—the blankets are washed and reused at a 4 H camp for low income kids.


  1. Offering participants the option to purchase carbon credits to help offset the carbon footprint created by their travel to and from our event.
  2. Ongoing cumulative carbon emissions absorption by the free tree seedlings turned trees given to finishers since 1993.
  3. Offering more foods in the finish area that are organic.
  4. Providing a vegetarian option at our pasta party.
  5. Conservation of renewable energy sources for power (solar panels at the start/finish area for 2009); water and waste through our official hotel and exposition site, the Portland Hilton Hotel, which is a Green Seal Certified hotel. (click here to learn more)
  6. Accessibility to our event by public and mass transportation…all the way to/from the airport and around the Portland Metropolitan area. (Tri-met bus, MAX light rail, trolley)
  7. Use of fuel efficient vehicles for lead cars. Race day course management is done by a team on bicycles. The location of our pick-up vans (for runners/walkers who have dropped out or need assistance) is monitored via APRS linked GPS to maximize their efficiency and minimize multiple trips.

Equipment & Materials:

  1. Use of recycled paper and good ink for our limited printed materials where available
  2. Limited printed materials
  3. Use of rented, borrowed, shared or reused equipment where available
  4. Use of equipment made from recycled or surplus materials, such as scaffolding, chip removers, food court, etc.
  5. Use of apparel made with more environmentally friendly fabrics and ink
  6. Green conference bags (Runner’s World and Nature’s Path Organic), cups and other biodegradable products for use at the Expo, provided by sponsors

Health Promotion and Providing Information about our Green Program:

  1. Efforts to increase participation by females, at risk, disabled or minority
  2. Direct involvement by youth so they can learn of our efforts
  3. Effort to educate public of event’s health benefits and green initiatives
  4. Providing surveys and mechanisms for participants to do feedback
  5. Tying into city guidelines on recycling and green practices
  6. Educating other event directors on our green efforts


  1. Documenting our environmental features which show sustainability and greenness of the event
  2. Use of volunteer “Green Teams” during the event, designated to regulate and promote our recycling efforts
  3. Early-on provider of online registration, results, and web page publications, (beginning in the late 90′s), eliminating the usage of paper
  4. Distribution of tree seedlings to finishers began in 1993. This virtual forest after 2009 could include an estimated 100,000 trees, all absorbing CO2 emissions as they grow, grow, grow!

"Best Race in October" - Runner's World