There will be countless footprints left on the 3rd Annual Elysian Park 5k Eco Run's cross-country course. A major carbon footprint won't be among them, though. Green Running Events, the people behind the run, strive to organize sustainable events. For example, they arrange car pools and opt for digital goody bags instead of the tangible, money-filled duffle bags of yesteryear.
When runners cross the finish line at The Color Fight, they won't see a big digital clock keeping track of the time. For one thing, the race organizers don't track race times, and even if they did, the ticking numbers would be cloaked by a cloud of colorful powder. That's because at each kilometer of the 3-mile race, spectators and race personnel launch handfuls of dyed powder at the runners, creating a vivid spectrum that symbolizes the event's emphasis of fun over victory. In order to make the perfect canvas for the rainbow of colors, runners are encouraged to wear white clothing or wrap themselves in a rain cloud.
The course itself carries on that fun vibe, too. Winding through city streets and local parks, the 5K route is dotted with hydration stations that dole out hot chocolate. Holiday music, a giant Santa inflatable, and snow blowers help to set
Every year, more than 12,000 gang members from across Los Angeles step through the doors of Homeboy Industries. Behind those doors lies a new world of possibilities: education and GED programs, job training, and even full-time employment. Established in 1988, the organization helps create healthier, happier lives through services ranging from tattoo removal to anger-management and parenting classes, coupled with a strong community that makes those new lifestyles sustainable in the long term. To fund these efforts, the organization boasts seven different member-run social enterprises, including a bakery, an embroidery shop, and farmers' markets.