The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle will continue to improve event sustainability efforts in 2021 by refining existing practices and integrating new initiatives. Incorporation of environmentally and socially responsible practices has become an important aspect of the planning, preparation, and execution of the Shamrock Shuffle. We would like to thank participants, spectators, sponsors and volunteers for helping us go green!
- Participant shirts – Event participant shirts are made from 100% recycled polyester. Recycled polyester use results in fewer environmental impacts compared to virgin polyester because of reduced energy use, raw material extraction and less waste going to landfills or incineration.
- Paperless Packet Pick-up – The packet pick-up email can be presented on the screen of a mobile device or tablet instead of printing, saving thousands of sheets of paper from being used.
- Participant Bag preparation – Opportunity Enterprises, a group whose mission is to create sustainable life choices and opportunities for individuals with unique challenges and abilities, will pack participant bags as well as runner refresh bags for race participants. The “Pack-A-Thon” is a huge undertaking but has become one of the most popular activities with OE’s higher-level clients.
Grant Park and Course
- Zero Waste Stations – Waste disposed of in Grant Park will be deposited at one of the many Zero Waste Stations located throughout the Gear Check and Post-Race Party areas. Green Team volunteers will sort the refuse to help increase the amount of waste diverted from the landfill.
- Collecting compostable material – Banana peels and other materials will be collected in Grant Park for composting.
- Recyclable beer cups – All Post-Race Party beer cups are recyclable.
- No styrofoam – Styrofoam products are not allowed at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle.
- Food donation – Skids of bananas, chips, assorted food, and water will be donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository post-race.
- Race day recycling – Cardboard, plastic jugs, beer cups and water bottles will be collected by the event and recycled by Republic Services and the Chicago Park District. We are targeting a 60% diversion rate.
- Eco-friendly portable toilet facilities – Paper products at over 600 portable restrooms rented for the event are made of 100% recycled content.
- Closed loop course – The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K is a closed loop course, starting and finishing in Grant Park, eliminating unnecessary travel often required by point-to-point courses.
- Public transportation – Participants, spectators, and volunteers are highly encouraged to use public transportation race weekend, such as CTA and Metra. Grant Park, the location of the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K start and finish lines and Post-Race Party, is located in the heart of downtown Chicago, a central hub public transportation.
Beyond race weekend
- Community effort – Event production, from distributing packets, beer and bananas, to marshaling the course, require thousands of volunteers. The event could not happen without community support and volunteers.
- Composting organic waste —Healthy Soil Compost, a local compost pick up service, will be picking up the approximately two tons of organic waste and taking it to Nature’s Little Recyclers, a local worm composting farm.
- Packet paper recycling – Printed confirmation tickets will be recycled at the Packet Pick-up and remaining Participant Packet envelopes will be recycled post-event.
- 100% Paperless online registration – All Shamrock Shuffle participants and over 3,000 volunteers will register online, eliminating the use of paper registration forms.
- Event information – All information for Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle participants, volunteers and media is available digitally. These pieces include the participant guide, confirmation e-mails, results, e-newsletters, media guide, event updates and more.
- Bib recycling – Unused Tyvek bibs will be pulled out of packets and recycled separately.
The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle is proud to have earned Gold level certification from the Council for Responsible Sport in 2016, for the event’s incorporation of environmentally and socially responsible practices. In 2018, the event was named a Gold Inspire event by the Council for Responsible Sport. Through this program, the Shamrock Shuffle will work with events throughout the country to share best practices, as well as integrate new sustainability initiatives.