Earth graces us with its natural beauty and a place to call home. Yet the balance of nature is teetering. We see it constantly in rampant wildfires, frequent 1,000-year floods, record temperatures, and mass extinction of wildlife.
Ask any trail runner and you are bound to hear stories of the changing trail conditions, air quality concerns, and weather patterns. What’s staggering is the level of changes that we’ve seen within just the last 5-10 years.
There’s also a layer of historical social injustice that continues to isolate people from access to outdoor recreation. Not only are wilderness areas becoming less stable, but the ability for all people to equally enjoy what we have is an ongoing struggle.
Disadvantages for Different Racial Groups
Data shows that populations of certain races, incomes, and backgrounds are continually disadvantaged in access to nature. They frequently live further from trails, and are surrounded by more pollution, with fewer parks, trees, and green spaces.
Environmental racism is more widespread than many realize. It’s a real problem that we, as runners, are uniquely positioned to tackle.
Today’s podcast guest, Trail Runner Magazine’s Zoë Rom, breaks down why environmental justice is so important:
It means that people shouldn’t have to deal with more pollution or less access to nature just because they belong to a certain race, national origin, or income bracket.
It’s a fascinating subject that we can all learn more about and hopefully be motivated to make a change.
Zoë Rom on Environmental Justice
Zoë Rom is the Associate Editor of Trail Runner Magazine, host of the DNF podcast and an outspoken advocate for environmental justice. She has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Journalism from the University of Colorado and has a deep passion for our public lands.
Zoë lives, plays, and works in the mountains of Colorado. She has a firm belief that access to outdoor recreation should be equal for all. At the same time, the negative impacts of industrial development should not be weighted on certain racial or income groups.
In today’s episode, we dive into many topics such as institutional negligence, equal access, and the fight for justice. Zoë has numerous suggestions on how you can get involved – everything from individual food choices to the support of organizations that are doing meaningful work.
Zoë is unapologetically herself with a deep message to share, as you can hear in this clip:
With her efforts, Trail Runner Magazine is coming out with its first ever environmental issue in March, 2021. Zoë shares a sneak peak of what readers can expect, including an article from Clare Gallagher, tips on how to repair gear, and much more.
I learned so much from our guest’s insights and I hope you will too. Share this episode with other friends and runners so we can work together towards environmental justice!
Links & Resources from the Show:
- Follow Zoë on Instagram
- Check out her podcast: DNF
- Read more about Zoe on Trail Runner Magazine
- Zoë Rom’s website
- SR’s trail running guide
- Elite trail athlete Peter Maksimow on public lands
Thank you Elemental Labs!
A big thanks to Elemental Labs for their support of this episode! They make electrolyte drinks for athletes and low-carb folks with no sugar, artificial ingredients, or colors.
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Elemental Labs’ products have some of the highest sodium concentrations that you can find. Anybody who runs a lot knows that sodium, as well as other electrolytes like magnesium and potassium, are essential to our performance and how we feel throughout the day.
The citrus flavor has quickly become my favorite and I’m drinking one a day now to help me get enough fluids in our dry Colorado air. It’s tasty and delicious and I find that I’m not peeing every 45 minutes throughout the day, which might be an indication I wasn’t eating enough sodium.
There’s now mounting evidence that higher sodium intake levels are not unhealthy – and athletes need substantially more than your typical sedentary person. Of course, ask your doctor if you’re worried. But for those athletes running outside in the heat, an electrolyte replacement makes a lot of sense.
So check out Elemental Labs to try their sample pack for free and get your hydration optimized for the upcoming spring season.