race participants at starting line

Eco-Friendly Half Marathon Event Planning for Marketing Collaterals

Ever wondered what happens to your branded cups, bottles, and other single-use items after you give them away in a half marathon race event?

While branded items are great for high visibility and can inspire consumer loyalty, some of these items are actually harmful to the environment.

Below are a few examples of their negative environmental impact:

  • Branded plastic containers and bottles given away in marathon races can take anywhere between 50 and 450 years to decompose. During this time, the plastics will leach potentially toxic substances like heavy metals and phthalates into the soil and water.
  • If these plastic branded items are incinerated, they’ll emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that may contribute to global warming. This, in turn, can lead to unpredictable climate conditions.
  • Branded items printed using petroleum-based inks contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like xylene and benzene. These compounds may promote ozone layer pollution, leading to increased ultraviolet rays reaching the Earth’s surface and disrupting biological processes like photosynthesis.

Here at MVP Visuals, we are committed to creating a sustainable future to ensure that all the branded products and advertising inflatables you purchase from us are environmentally safe.

We have put together some great eco-friendly options below for your branded products to help you run a greener race, some of them even at a lower cost.

1 - Switch to Recyclable and Sustainable Branded Materials

Plastic bottles and cups issued at marathon events are an environmental nightmare since they’re mostly used once and then dumped in landfills.

Yet, these plastic items don’t biodegrade; they just break down into microplastics that will further pollute water sources, food, and aquatic life.

To reduce material waste in your half-marathon race, consider replacing regular plastic cups with more eco-friendly options, such as those made from:

  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel cups and bottles are durable, reusable, and easy to clean.
  • Glass: Glass water bottles and cups are reusable, easy to clean, and do not leach harmful chemicals into beverages.
  • Biodegradable cups: Biodegradable cups are made from bioplastics, biomass, or plant-based materials like cornstarch. They will decompose quickly in compost and reduce the amount of waste generated by your event.

This table compares the impact of various materials on the environment:

Material Decomposition Time (Years) Leaching Potential Environmental Impact (1–10)
Non-Recyclable Cups 500+ High 9
Plastic Bottles 450+ Medium 7
Biodegradable Cups 3-6 months Low 4
Stainless Steel Cups Biodegradable Low 3
Glass Bottles Biodegradable Low 2

In a similar manner, race bibs and t-shirts made from conventional fabrics like nylon are not created with sustainability in mind.

In fact, they have caused more environmental damage than good, as explained below:

  • They use environmentally devastating ways of sourcing raw materials, from petroleum drilling to deforestation and unsustainable farming.
  • They use chemically-intensive ways to process the raw materials, such as bleaching, plasticizing, dyeing, and softening.
  • The race t-shirts and bibs are improperly disposed of in landfills, leading to a tremendous amount of textile waste.

Choosing recyclable and sustainable fabrics will ensure that the race t-shirts and bibs are transformed and reused for years to come, helping to reduce textile waste and eradicate the use of toxic chemicals.

Consider race bibs and t-shirts made from the following fabrics for a greener and more sustainable race:

  • Organic cotton: Use t-shirts made from organic cotton, which is grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Organic cotton is softer, more breathable, and more durable than conventional cotton.
  • Recycled polyester: Consider t-shirts and race bibs made from recycled polyester, which comes from recycled plastic bottles.

    This reduces the amount of plastic waste in landfills and oceans while providing high-quality, moisture-wicking materials for athletic wear.

  • Bamboo fabric: Bamboo fabric is a sustainable and renewable resource that is naturally antibacterial and moisture-wicking, making it a popular choice for athletic wear.

At MVP Visuals, we offer a wide range of recyclable and eco-friendly options to help you reduce your environmental impact while still creating visually appealing and effective branding displays.

From flag banners to custom tents and custom logo tablecloths, our branding and advertising products use environmentally sustainable fabrics like polyester, heavy-duty denier, and canvas.

These are some of the custom tent bundles we offer at MVP Visuals:

Custom Tents Intro Bundle

What’s Included:

Custom Tents All Star Bundle

What’s Included:

  • A 10x10 Forever Flash custom printed tent
  • Custom Back Wall and Rail Skirts (Single-Sided Print)
  • 6' Polyester 1-Color Front Panel Print Table Cover
  • Deluxe Roller Bag
  • Set of (4) Weight Bags (Sand/weights not included)

Custom Tents MVP Bundle

What’s Included:

Here is why you should buy your custom tent from MVP Visuals:

By choosing our eco-friendly options for your branded items, you can reduce the environmental impact of your race while still promoting your sponsors and creating a memorable experience for participants.

2 - Create Sustainable Logos and Graphics

Visual elements of your race, such as logos and graphics, are essential components of your brand. 

Designing these elements with sustainability in mind will raise awareness of your environmentally-conscious efforts and attract the right audience.

Here are some of our tips for designing sustainable logos and graphics for a greener race:

Choose Eco-Friendly Ink and Printing Methods

Traditional petroleum-based inks contain harmful VOCs and pollutants like benzene and methylene chloride that are released into the air during the printing process.

Inhaling these VOCs can be harmful to human health and lead to respiratory problems, such as asthma.

Definition: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are gasses that are emitted into the air from products or processes.

Fortunately, there are now better ink options that are safe for the planet.

Consider the following: 

  • Soy-based ink: Soy-based ink is made from soybean oil and is a non-toxic alternative to traditional petroleum-based ink. It is biodegradable and reduces the number of VOCs released into the atmosphere.
  • Water-based ink: Water-based ink is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional petroleum-based ink. It is non-toxic, and the pigments used are derived from natural sources, making it an excellent choice for eco-conscious event organizers.
  • Digital printing: Digital printing is an eco-friendly printing method that uses less ink and produces less waste than traditional printing methods. It also eliminates the need for printing plates, reducing the amount of paper waste generated.

At MVP Visuals, we use eco-friendly dye-sublimation printing for all our printing processes.

Our sublimation ink is a water-based ink with very low levels of VOCs, making it a better choice for your race and safe for our planet.

Design Your Logo With Sustainability in Mind

Your logo is the most visible element of your race branding. Creating a logo that showcases your commitment to sustainability can help you attract participants and sponsors with the same goal.

Here are some factors to consider when designing a sustainable logo:

  • Use earthy-friendly colors: Colors such as earth tones, blues, and greens are ideal for an eco-conscious brand since they represent the natural world.
  • Choose a simple design: A simple logo design is easier to remember and reproduce, and requires less ink and paper to print.
  • Create an iconic “green” logo design: An iconic design that’s environment conscious is easy to recognize and will help establish an eco-friendly brand identity. Consider using nature-inspired elements in your design, such as leaves, trees, or mountains.

At MVP Visuals, we offer more than 50 color options for your logo design. We will work together with you to create a simple logo design that portrays the eco-friendly nature of your brand.

We will also help you choose the perfect colors that will complement your brand and logo, ensuring that your branded displays evoke curiosity about your organization and attract like-minded sponsors.

Expert Tip: For your race packets, brochures, and other printed materials, choose recycled paper instead of traditional virgin paper.

Virgin paper requires more energy, especially for pulping, and releases more greenhouse gasses than recycling mills, making it more harmful to the environment.

Alternatively, you can opt for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper, which is sourced from responsibly managed forests in an environmentally-friendly, socially-responsible, and economically-viable manner.

Using FSC-certified paper for your printed materials will help reduce environmental impact while supporting sustainable forestry practices.

Learn More: Understand why the FSC label is the world’s most trusted mark for sustainable forestry.

Invest in Sustainable Branding for Your Half Marathon Race

Organizing a race can put a strain not just on your planning team but also the environment.

Single-use plastic cups and water bottles, race apparel made from conventional fabrics, and tons of waste from the event dumped in landfills all add up to make even the smallest race a potential hazard to the planet.

Luckily, it’s still possible to enhance the environmental impact of your half-marathon race.

And the good news is that organizing a greener race does as much for your brand as it does to the planet—it will improve the image of your race in the eyes of thousands of environmentally-conscious athletes and sponsors.

As an eco-friendly branding and printing company, MVP Visuals is fully committed to reducing the environmental impacts of all our branded products for your half-marathon events, from banners to inflatable arches and teardrop flags.

illustration showing design process of Upventur’s inflatable arch

We use eco-friendly fabrics like sustainably-sourced polyester and canvas to reduce our carbon footprint and promote a greener future.

Our dye-sublimation printing process will also ensure that you get branded products with clear and vivid images that grab attention without any negative implications on the environment.

“...Colors always pop and people recognize us from a mile away…At our last event, one of our customers thought that we canceled because they didn't see the archway or tents…Only reason for 3 stars is because no one reads the 5 star reviews.”

Samuel, Verified Reviewer

By choosing MVP Visuals for your race’s branding needs, you can showcase your commitment to sustainability while enhancing your brand’s visibility.

“The purchased products were delivered on time. The sales person was exceptionally helpful. I will order again.”

Don Smith - Brazos River Bicycle Rally

Call us today at (800) 980-6871 or email us at hello@mvpvisuals.com to get perfect, eco-friendly branded products for your race.