If there’s one thing that many of us have missed over the last couple of years, it’s a good event. Whether that’s the adrenaline rush of standing on the start line or gate, or just catching up with mates and having fun with likeminded individuals.
But, have you ever thought about the impact an event has once the last podium ceremony has been completed and everyone is safely home?
Sadly, we’ve all been to (or seen the aftermath) of a poorly managed/unsustainable event; whether that’s dropped gel ends on the trails, signage/tape that lingers for months after the last rider crossed the line or overflowing skips in the camping field. Those days are over.
(c) Pete Scullion
It is our firm belief that the protection of our trails and surrounding ecosystems that host the races and events that we love so much, and promoting that ethos to everyone involved in the event (from riders to food vendors), should be at the very top of event organisers’ ‘To Do List’.
In the very simplest of terms, without the trails and wild places there would be no event and it is time to acknowledge that fact and recognise our collective responsibility.
This acknowledgement is a non-negotiable ‘red line’ for Trash Free Trails. However, we also know how insanely busy and stretched event organisers can be! So, in line with our positive, solutions focused, values we have created a new, free to use self accreditation scheme for event organisers. We call it - TFT Approved.
(c) Sam Dugon
So, how does TFT Approved work?
TFT Approved is a free to use, self accreditation toolkit that enables event organisers of all shapes and sizes to reduce the #SingleUseProduct footprint of their events and #LeaveAPositiveTrace on the trails and wild places that host them.
For an event to be considered TFT Approved, it must meet a number of criteria, with gold, silver and bronze accreditation levels providing opportunities for gradual improvement whilst still having something to celebrate.
We’ve put loads of effort into making it as easy and enjoyable for people to use (we know how insanely busy event organisers are), so here’s how it works;
DOWNLOAD and review that TFT Approved guide from trashfreetrails.org
CONSIDER and plan for the steps you will take to meet the standard
ACT – put in place TFT approved criteria as soon as you can
EVALUATE – undertake our simple Self-Evaluation Form available online
SHOUT! digitally and physically about why you have chosen to become part of the #TFTApproved programme using our custom branding and badges
FEEDBACK – let us know what you thought about the process so we can develop in the future.
(c) Sam Dugon
But I’m ‘just’ a rider! How can I help?
Ultimately, the success of our ‘TFT Approved’ scheme will depend upon the individual riders, spectators and organisers who bring these events to life, which means our DIO (Do It Ourselves) ethos will still play a prominent role.
Much like in your day to day riding, running or roaming YOU can give your support to the scheme, and your local event, by committing to the following actions;
Be a #NotSoSecretShopper when you attend TFT Approved events. As a self-accreditation scheme there’s a lot of trust involved in awarding events with their gold, silver or bronze medals. Knowing that there are hundreds of pairs of eyes making sure there really are recycling bins, water refill points and no polystyrene food containers for example is a great way of helping event organisers to ‘stay honest’ ;)
You can also...
#LeaveAPositiveTrace!! If you see it pick it up
TFT Approved is tried and tested.
We know how surprisingly complex event organisation can be so we really took our time in developing TFT Approved. We collaborated with some of the World’s biggest (and smallest) and best mountain bike events such as; Red Bull Hardline, the Enduro World Series, The Scott Naughty Northumbrian and Bude’s Dept 26 mates race to field test the scheme before pronouncing it fit for purpose.
Now, ahead of the 2022 race season, we are proud to make it available to all outdoor sports event organisers. What’s more, thanks to the support of Red Bull UK we are able to make the TFT Approved Scheme free for all to use.
All we ask in return is that you share your stories with us :)
Good luck from the Trash Free Trails team.
@TrashFreeTrails - #HereForTheTrails