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Get Inspired for the Paris Marathon 2019

Get Inspired for the Paris Marathon 2019

It is time to start training if you want to participate in the Paris Marathon 2019!

On April 14, 2019, the 43rd Paris Marathon (Marathon de Paris) will wind through Paris.  The Paris Marathon is one of the most popular in Europe with nearly 60,000 participants.  What runner doesn’t want to take advantage of a generally flat course zig-zagging through the most beautiful city in the world?  Need a reason to run?  Here are five good ones.

1.  Experience Paris by Foot Race

Want to see the monuments of Paris by foot? The Paris Marathon winds its way through the streets of Paris and its green spaces.  With a distance of 26.219 miles (42.195 kilometres), this race is an opportunity to cover lots of ground that many people never see.  The race is on vehicle-free streets.  While the exact route changes somewhat each year, be sure that the route will pass the major monuments, track parts of the Seine and take runners to areas they have never seen. You can register here.

2.  Get in Fantastic Shape

Is it time for you to get in shape?  Need a goal?  The Paris Marathon would be a great one!  Flowers blooming, friends from all over the world running alongside, Parisians lining the streets cheering you on.  On the official website, download training guides, a practical guide to a first marathon and everything else you may need for the marathon, available in English and French.  It is meters rather than yards, miles or feet, so get out your calculator if you need to.  Of course there are many other training methods to get you ready for the Parish Marathon.  But, start now.

3.  Support Green Paris

paris marathon sustainable

Image from the official site: http://www.schneiderelectricparismarathon.com/en

In keeping with the Parisian emphasis on being green and sustainable, the Paris Marathon encourages everyone to be green! The Paris Marathon’s aim is to be a carbon-neutral marathon by 2019. The official website features a tab entitled, Eco Friendly.  This section explains the Paris Marathon’s efforts to get teens (“Marateeners”) involved in sports and exercise.

The Paris Marathon encourages, “An Integrated Approach” for finding sustainable accommodation, sharing good practices, innovating for future generations and many other positive ideas for sustainability. Want to know if your Parisian hotel is green? Find out here.

And, what about those 560,000 Vittel water bottles?  Waste Management is a section within  the Eco Friendly tab that explains how the Paris Marathon manages trash.  500 waste sorting bins will line the route to collect water bottles, discarded food packaging, and anything else recyclable as well as trash.  These are not only for the participants, but also for the fans!  Besides recycling waste, runners are also encouraged to wear clothes made from cotton or recycled and recyclable materials.

4.  Not a Runner?  Volunteer or Be a Spectator!

Don’t want to run, but want to volunteer?  The official response is:  “With pleasure! We’d be mad to refuse enthusiastic helpers – maybe you can encourage others to help too? Bring your good humour and generous nature and join our hundreds of volunteers to help make this event run smoothly.”  If you want to volunteer, contact Lucas Prado and Arthur Thévenot or email: [email protected].

Even if you are not a runner or cannot commit a day to volunteer, this mass event can be fun to watch!  And, you can walk along the streets that are closed to traffic.  Keep in mind that with 60,000 runners, available rooms and restaurants may be hard to find during the Paris Marathon.  So, if you are planning a trip to Paris around April 14, 2019, take the Paris Marathon into account, book early and expect throngs of people.

5.  Reward for Crossing the Finish Line?

Bragging rights – of course.  But, reward yourself with a magnificent meal in a celebrated Parisian restaurant.  Research and reserve now.  Nearly 60,000 participants plus families, friends and spectators will be celebrating after the race.  Following your recovery, what better reward than a terrific meal with fellow racers, family and friends.

Bonus.  Photos Forever!

Enjoy the photos of you and your friends competing in the famous Paris Marathon for the rest of your life – Priceless!

Ready to Commit to the Paris Marathon?

On September 4, the Paris Marathon will begin accepting registrations.  You can register here: http://www.schneiderelectricparismarathon.com/en/registration/participate

If you love sports and want to plan ahead, read up on the Olympics coming to Paris.

How To Tell If A Parisian Hotel Is Green

How To Tell If A Parisian Hotel Is Green

Many Parisian hotels are working toward green and sustainable goals.  In order to reach those goals, and outwardly demonstrate their sustainability commitment, hotels will join a group of like-minded organizations that adhere to similar goals.  These organizations provide check lists and confirmations that the hotel is meeting the outlined goals for sustainability.

When researching places to stay, look for sustainability designations by the Paris tourist office’s Charter for Sustainable Accommodation in Paris, Green Key, Green Globe, EarthCheck or the European Union Ecolabel.

Hotels in the Paris Convention and Visitor’s Bureau’s Sustainability Program

The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau is encouraging Paris hotels to take a sustainable approach to operations through its program, “Sustainable Accommodation in Paris.”  Through its workshops, check lists and audits, the bureau encourages environmental, social and societal sustainability.

Since 2012, 463 places providing accommodation have signed on to the program.  The hotels use their best efforts to:

  • Promote sustainable development goals, whether in terms of in-house management or vis-à-vis everyone they have dealings with (transparency, ethics, compliance with laws, respect for human rights, etc.)
  • Reduce water and energy use
  • Reduce and recycle waste
  • Implement an eco-responsible purchasing policy
  • Make suppliers and staff aware of sustainability policies
  • Inform guests of sustainability goals and encourage guests to participate in green effort during their stay
  • Welcome guests with a disability (physical, sensory or mental) to the best possible conditions and offer them appropriate information on accessibility to tourism establishments and activities
  • Improve working conditions for staff, and their well being at work
  • Promote the natural and cultural heritage of the Paris region  (~From Parisinfo.com)

 

How Can You Tell If A Parisian Hotel Is Green? Look for these Labels:

Green Key

Green Key Sustainability

The Green Key award is the leading standard for excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. This prestigious eco-label represents a commitment by businesses that their premises adhere to the strict criteria set by the Foundation for Environmental Education. A Green Key stands for the promise to its guests that by opting to stay with the Green Key establishment, they are helping to make a difference on an environmental level. The high environmental standards expected of these establishments are maintained through rigorous documentation and frequent audits. Green Key is eligible for hotels, hostels, small accommodations, campsites, holiday parks, conference centres, restaurants and attractions.  ~From the Green Key website.

Green Globe

 

Green Globe is the global certification for sustainable tourism. Membership is reserved for companies and organizations who are committed to making positive contributions to people and planet.  Green Globe’s International Standard for Sustainable Tourism was the first standard developed by and for the travel & tourism over 20 years ago. Today Green Globe’s Standard is recognized as the highest level of sustainability certification by leaders in green travel and responsible & eco tourism.

Green Globe Members commit to managing and operating their business and organizations to the highest level of sustainability.  They are committed to benchmarking and managing the use of energy and water with the aim of reducing the use of these resources as well as promoting reuse and recycling of materials.

Green Globe members promote diversity and inclusiveness in their work force, while respecting local cultures and ensuring equitable relations and rewards for all.  The members invest in protecting the culture and heritage of their host destination.

Members commit to act in accordance with local law and respect and promote global compacts promoting equality, health, welfare and human rights and prohibiting child exploitation.  And, these fundamental achievements are managed through a sustainability plan targeting over 300 activities that are carried out at all levels of the company.  ~Find out more at Green Globe.

EarthCheck

Member companies are required to develop and document a policy for environmental and social sustainability for the entire organization based on: energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, potable water consumption, water savings, waste sent to landfill, waste recycling, community commitment, community contributions, paper products, cleaning products, pesticide products and corporate social responsibility.  By meeting benchmarks set by the Earthcheck, a hotel or business can be certified as a member.  Find out more at EarthCheck.org.

European Ecolabel

 

The European Union Ecolabel is found on products and services – such as accommodations – that  respect the environment. Its criteria guarantee that a given product is fit for use, and that it will have a reduced environmental impact throughout its life cycle.

To qualify for the EU Ecolabel, products have to comply with a stringent set of criteria.  These environmental criteria take the whole product life cycle into account – from the extraction of the raw materials, to production, packaging and transport, right through to your use and then your recycling bin.  This life cycle approach guarantees that the products’ main environmental impacts are reduced in comparison to similar products on the market. ~From EU Ecolabel.

Take a look at this brochure outlining the meaning and showing how to put the EU Ecolabel to work.

Are you interested in how Paris got so many Green Spaces? Read more here.

Green and Sustainable Paris

Green and Sustainable Paris

Like many big cities, Paris is making a huge push to be “Green and Sustainable.”  Those words are popular in today’s culture, but what do they mean for visitors to Paris?  Following is a brief explanation for those who may be wondering.

What is “Green?”

“Green” has many different meanings to many different people.  The general idea is to reduce human waste and consumption.  It is also defined as being environmentally responsible (another term that means avoid damaging the planet).  And, not to trivialize being green, but maybe it is simply the idea that humans stop working against nature and start working to help nature.

How is that done?  Rather than doing things that hurt the planet or environment, do things that help.  Work to reduce the human race’s effect on nature.  In other words, try not to create a trash heap (read “mountain”) of your used plastic water bottles, plastic straws, aluminum cans, plastic bags, etc….  Try to avoid using cleaners made with toxic substances that run off into the lakes, rivers and oceans.  Try to eat foods grown with the least amount of antibiotics, herbicides and pesticides.  All of these man-made creations go somewhere once they have been used.  And, generally it harms someone or something else down the line.  So, cut down on all of it in an effort to be green.  Most importantly, see how small of a trash heap you can leave behind.

What is “Sustainable?”

“Sustainable” is another word with many different meanings to many different people.  Overall, it is a huge concept with even more far-reaching and global goals.  Those goals include focusing on renewable energy, treating workers and animals ethically and conserving natural resources such as water, land and fuel.  “Green” seems like the manifestation of what individual humans can do to help “sustain” the planet.

Although Paris is the subject of this website, it helps to have some American references for understanding sustainability.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency states that, “Sustainability is based on a simple principle:  Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.”

You may also be surprised to know that the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 committed the United States to sustainability.  (Yes, that long ago.)  The act declares it a national policy “to create and maintain conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.”

What Does the World Say?

On the world stage, the United Nation’s 1987 “Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development:  Our Common Future” notes that sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the well-being of future generations.  (What were you doing in 1987 to promote the “well-being of future generations?”  Using cans of ozone-depleting hairspray, driving 9-mile-to-the-gallon gas guzzlers and sucking down Big Gulps with long plastic straws?????  I wasn’t using the hairspray, but count me in on gas-guzzlers and 7-Eleven straws.)

Ever broader definitions of sustainability continue to evolve in world politics.  In 2000, the Earth Charter’s definition of sustainability changed to include the idea of a global society, “founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace.”  Yes, that was already 18 years ago.  But, the ideals remain extremely relevant and seem to be more universally accepted.

As a Visitor What Does it Mean, Green and Sustainable Paris?

Paris promotes its commitment to sustainability by providing locals and visitors with green opportunities.  Without knowing it, you may be accidentally participating in green and sustainable initiatives!  But don’t stop at accidentally.  You can actively choose green options while in Paris.

What is Paris Doing to be Green and Sustainable?

The following are a few examples of how Paris is doing its part to be green and sustainable.  At their core, these efforts seek to raise awareness for respecting the environment.  On top of raising awareness, they encourage participation.

Vehicle-Free Days

Car-Free Champs-Élysées Green and Sustainable

Photo “Champs-Élysées sans voitures” by Ulamm licensed under CC 4.0

The first Sunday of each month is vehicle free on the avenue des Champs-Élysées.  That’s right – no cars!  This green and sustainable initiative began in May of 2016 and is an incredible success.  Now locals and visitors can take advantage of a new way to experience the famous avenue – right in the middle of the pavement!

Along with leaving one avenue vehicle free each month, the entire city of Paris is vehicle free for one day each year.  Except for emergencies, taxis, disabled access, open top tour buses and some other necessary vehicles, the whole city is pedestrian friendly for much of the day.  Can you imagine a car-free day in your town?

Urban Oases

Want to visit urban green spaces while visiting?  The Paris City Council has joined in the effort to be green with an app!  Paris Eco Walks is the city council’s downloadable app that leads followers through urban green spaces to see plants and animals.  It is a “go at your own pace” tour that will work for anyone interested in finding green spaces throughout Paris.

Community Gardens

green and sustainable community garden

(Photo from paris.fr)

Along with the many parks in Paris that are vehicle free and easy to enjoy, you may even see community gardens on public land.  These shared gardens, jardins partagés, can be found throughout the city.  Paris’ Green Hand Charter, Charte Main Verte, is an initiative allowing these community gardens.  Citizens work in the gardens and share in the produce.  Not surprisingly, the community gardens are extremely popular.  As well as vegetables and herbs, in some of the gardens you may even see beekeepers tending their hives.  In addition to community gardens, bees are kept throughout Paris.  Even on the roofs of landmarks.  The Opera Garner’s hives produce honey that is on sale in its gift shop – great souvenir!

Farm Life

Paris Farm Icon

(image from La Ferme de Paris twitter)

Another interesting initiative is the organic Paris Farm.  This fully-functioning farm in the bois de Vincennes is an outstanding testament to the pride Parisians take in promoting green and sustainable agriculture.  Its entire operation is dedicated to respecting the environment using sustainable food production methods.  See French cows, pigs, poultry, sheep, horses and other livestock, plus local crops in their green and sustainable habitat.  (Ferme de Paris, 1 Route du Pesage, 75012, open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays.)

Pesticide-Free Paris

Paris does not use pesticides in its city parks, gardens or cemeteries.  All of those green spaces with blooming flowers and plants are kept without using pesticides.  Additionally, pesticides are prohibited from being used on home terraces and roofs.  Pretty amazing!

Compost-a-Way

Paris even has a compost program for clippings and cuttings from gardens!  It is part of a comprehensive plan for Paris to reduce all forms of trash being generated by the people in in the city – residents and visitors alike.

How Can I Be Green and Sustainable in Paris?

Try to be green and sustainable at the hotel, around town, at restaurants, at markets and in choices to get around the city.  That are a lot of opportunities to be green.  Even if you think making your whole trip green may be too much of a commitment, try making one day a “green day” in Paris!  You’ll have bragging rights for helping Paris work toward sustainability!

At the Hotel and Around Town

  • Use soaps that are free of toxic ingredients
  • Recycle plastic, glass, paper and metal
  • Use the same towel during your stay rather than have the hotel wash it each day
  • Reuse one water bottle during your entire stay in Paris

At Restaurants and Markets

  • Choose locally grown products that are designated organic, free range or natural
  • When eating out or shopping for food, look for Fair Trade products (PFCE – Plate-forme pour le Commerce Equitable) – that means, among other things, the producers have safe working conditions, pay fair wages and are trying to avoid damaging the environment
  • Order appropriately – do not waste food
  • Eat organic foods – look for the “bio” designation on the menu or at markets

Getting Around with Less Environmental Impact

  • Fortunately, Paris is made for walking – a great way to be green
  • If you do not walk, try to take electric or hybrid taxis, ride a bike, or take the Metro
  • Paris is moving toward more efficient buses, so look for eco-friendly signs on buses

By taking even small steps, you can say, “I went to Paris and was GREEN!”  Over 15 million people visit Paris each year.  And, over 2 million people live in Paris.  That many people have a huge impact on the environment in a relatively small space on the earth.  Any steps you take to be green and sustainable while in Paris will help!  Today, the visitor’s motto should be:  Reduce, reuse and recycle.

Do you know if your hotel is committed to sustainability?  Find out how to tell.

green globe reduce, reuse, recycle