sustainable events

Our Sustainability Mission

Love SwimRun has grown as a business since the first swimrun event in 2016 and we now have a number of large events as well as some incredible guided adventures on offer. Despite the growth, our core values remain the same – to make swimrun and open water swimming events fun and friendly, inclusive and accessible, unique and safe, eco friendly and sustainable.

A passion for nature and the outdoors is at the heart of why we love open water swimming and swimrun. They are exciting activities that allow us to immerse ourselves in the natural environment, both in water and on land. Equally important is the opportunity to connect with other like-minded people. That’s why we work hard to create events that not only give you a challenge, but also an appreciation of the natural world.

Sustainability for us means going above and beyond standard practices to being eco-friendly. It means finding new ways to minimizing harm and actively doing some good.

How do we make our events sustainable?

Making the events as eco friendly as practicable possible is a huge priority for us. There are so many things event organisers can do to make a big difference (and a smaller impact) with their events. There are lots of little things we implement that add up to make a big difference:

✅ Educating participants about invasive species and water pollution: We send out information to participants about this really important issue and we check swimrun kit at registration to make sure it is clean and dry.

✅ We are plastic bottle/cup free. There are no cups at the swimruns, participants carry their own cups or bottles. The cups we provide on the swim feed stations are 100% paper and fully (and easily) recycled, unlike most compostable or PLA cups which still end up in landfill.

✅ We buy and employ locally as much as possible to benefit the local community and economy and reduce carbon emissions.

✅ Our event T-shirts are optional and we make sure the ones that we sell are locally produced, organic cotton, FairWear, vegan and printed by hand with eco friendly inks.

✅ Our medals are now 100% waste free and made from local Welsh slate with recycled ribbon. They can be used as a coaster and any leftovers can be sanded and reused again and again!

✅ All our awards are eco friendly or useful so they won’t just be left gathering dust on a shelf.

✅ We encouraging the use of shared and public transport. We have a Love SwimRun Facebook Group where people can offer and ask for lifts.

✅ When we produce any signage we always make sure it is reusable and resuable zip ties and ribbons are always collected and used again and again.

✅ We collect and recycle all rubbish (I actually go through the bags and sort it post events myself!)

✅ No gels of plastic packaging are used on feed stations to reduce risk of littering.

✅ The feed stations are 100% vegan and we have vegan options for post race food. We do this since vegan food generally has a lower environmental impact than meat/aninal products, and if animals didn’t have to be harmed in the production, then we really like that too.

✅ We have a zero tolerance littering policy

✅ Our outside caterers all use eco friendly packaging and recycle any waste. We work with them to help reduce waste in numerous way, for example suggesting ways they can reduce packaging or by giving participants discounts if they bring their own mugs for hot drinks etc.

✅ We ask returning participants to voluntarily reuse/return swim hats and give the cost saving to environmental charities.

✅ We reuse all the swimrun bibs

✅ We raise money for environmental charities during the entry process and give away free entries for people that commit to raising sponsorship for environmental charities. We use some of our profit for great causes too and we’re proud to support them.

✅ We go litter picking and organise litter picks.

✅ We monitor and reduce our energy consumption as much as possible. It’s our goal is to achieve net-zero emissions.

A huge effort goes into reducing the impact of the events and the goal is always 100% positive impact and zero harm!

What can you do to help?

Sustainability is all about action, and we should all be party to creating the change we want to see in the world.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure you help to keep any events you attend greener: 

✅  Use greener transport options when possible or find a lift share. Use the #LoveSwimRun Facebook Group. 

✅  Sell or recycle your used or unwanted kit. Use the Facebook Group!

✅  Be Bio-secure aware. Make sure all your kit is clean and dry before using it in a new area to help prevent the spread of Invasive Species. They can have huge detrimental implications if they ‘hitchhike’ on your equipment. They can out-compete and kill native species, block waterways for recreational use and exacerbate the risks of flooding. In order to prevent this when swimming in different locations, please follow these steps:

    Check your clothes and equipment after leaving water or on wet ground for mud, aquatic animals, and bits of plants. Remove anything you find and leave it on site.
    Clean ALL your clothes and equipment thoroughly as soon as you can, paying attention to areas that are damp or hard to access. Use hot water if possible.
  • DRY
    Dry everything for as long as you can before using again. Some invasive species can live up to 2 weeks in damp conditions!

For more information, visit the Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) website. 

✅  Lay off the cosmetics, deodorants, perfumes, body lotion etc. and use only marine life friendly sunscreen to stop pollutants washing off into the water and harming wildlife. 

✅  Refuse stuff you don’t really want or need: tshirts, water bottles, goody bags, gels, silicone wrist bands etc. Rejecting non necessary items lets organisers know that it’s time to change.

✅  Bring your own reusable bottles, cups, mugs etc to events so you don’t have to use disposable ones.

✅  Take home your recyclable waste. Some organisers will not check the bins for recyclables or even recycle at all, so make sure you do your bit.

✅  Contact organisers and question them about their sustainability policy. If you don’t think they are doing enough, ask them to do more!

✅  Don’t be frightened to make suggestions. If you’ve got ideas about how to improve event sustainability then let organisers know. You might have something they have not yet thought about. (But please do bare in mind that sometimes there are practical reasons why event organisers have to do things a certain way, often for safety or prohibitive costs that would otherwise be passed onto you the participants!)

✅  For more information about how to be eco-friendly when you go open water swimming or swimrunning, please read this article: