Would you prefer a tee or a tree?
London Marathon Events (LME) has partnered with Trees Not Tees, an environmental organisation, to offer participants in its running events the option to opt-out of receiving an official finisher’s T-shirt and instead have a tree planted in their honour. This move is in line with LME’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact, and it will see Trees Not Tees plant a sapling in its sustainable reforestation project in the UK for everyone who takes up this option.
Hugh Brasher, Event Director at LME, said, “We are fully committed to reducing our environmental impact and we’re working to introduce more initiatives every year to achieve this. We know that finisher’s T-shirts are an important part of many people’s event experience, but we also know that many of our participants share our passion for environmental sustainability.” The initiative will be offered at the following events organised by LME that feature finisher T-shirts in 2023: TCS London Marathon, The Big Half, and Vitality London 10,000.
As part of the program, participants who opt for Trees Not Tees will receive a personalised digital certificate, including a photo of their tree, and a what3words geolocation so they can visit their tree if they choose to. The scheme is one of several sustainability initiatives for 2023 aimed at reducing the environmental impact of LME events, with a particular focus on lowering carbon emissions, cutting waste, and improving circularity. Full details of the sustainability initiatives around the 2023 TCS London Marathon will be announced in April.
LME’s collaboration with Trees Not Tees is part of its long-term objective to help drive positive change in environmental sustainability through its own actions and inspire its stakeholders and partners to do the same. LME and The London Marathon Foundation share a vision of inspiring activity and a mission to inspire and enable people to become and remain physically active across all ages, demographics, and abilities. Since 1981, The Trust has made grants totaling more than £98.3 million to over 1,500 projects in London and across the UK that help people become and remain active.
Trees Not Tees is an environmental organisation co-founded by Jade Rein and ultra-runner Jim Mann. They work with event organisers to give participants the option of planting a tree instead of receiving a T-shirt they may not wear. Instead of buying too many T-shirts, the event organiser pays for the cost of the T-shirt, and Trees Not Tees plant a tree for the participant instead. They plant trees across sites in the UK, always planting the right tree in the right place, meaning that an appropriate species is always planted on the appropriate land.
The London Marathon is the world’s biggest annual one-day fundraising event and has raised more than £1.1 billion for thousands of charities. Every year, London Marathon Events gifts its trading surplus to The London Marathon Foundation.
What do you think? Would you rather have a tee or a tree? Let us know in the comments below.