On its 10th year, National Geographic’s Earth Day Run 2019 on April 14 is expected to be the biggest yet as it takes on the global campaign to reduce the use of single-use plastic with this year’s theme of “Planet or Plastic?” What could be bigger than that, right?
The extreme amount of plastic waste, particularly those that reach our seas and oceans, has been dubbed as a “planetary crisis” by no less than the United Nations itself. According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), nine million tons of plastic waste are dumped in the ocean every year, killing marine life and ecosystems so much that by 2050, it is feared that there may be more plastic in the sea than fish.
Since it started in 2009, the Nat Geo Earth Day Run is considered as the only environmental run in the country. According to Jude Turcuato, SVP and General Manager of FOX Networks Group in the Philippines, our country has become a role model for other Asian countries as far as staging an event for a good cause like the Earth Day Run. Other countries in the region have since staged similar races with countries in Latin America and Europe soon organizing their own.
Furthermore, proceeds from the run have been used for numerous projects all over the Philippines, such as providing fiberglass boats to fisherfolk in Palawan, helping save the Abuan watershed, and providing solar light to farmers in Mindoro, among many others. “Every year, we focus on a cause or a beneficiary,” he cites.
This year’s beneficiary is CORA (Communities Organized for Resource Allocation) Foundation, an organization that also focuses on promoting environmental awareness. CORA Founder Antoinette Taus is thrilled and thankful to work with Nat Geo. According to Taus, “When a company like Nat Geo – with such a strong voice when it comes to the planet and to the environment – speaks about the issue of plastic waste, we knew that it will create such a huge difference in the world.”
To help in the campaign, CORA aims to “educate, inspire action, and empower people”. She adds, “we hope every single runner who runs the Earth Day Run will not just run for the environment, but will also make their own small pledge to try and make a difference”.
Besides running, you can support Nat Geo’s global campaign by signing the “Planet or Plastic?” pledge. Choose our planet on this link: Planet or Plastic?. By taking the pledge, you will become part of a global community to stop marine plastic pollution. The pledge is particularly important in Asia because five countries in our region are the source of 55- 60% of the plastic that ends up in the world’s oceans, according to Ocean Conservancy.
The ultimate goal of the Planet or Plastic? campaign is to prevent one billion plastic items from reaching the ocean. Doing so will protect marine animals that become entangled in, suffocated by, or ingest plastic each year, but will also contribute to the overall health of the planet’s marine ecosystems.
This year’s Nat Geo Earth Day Run is expected to attract 15,000 running enthusiasts across five race categories: 3K, 5K, 10K, 21K, and the new 500m Doggie Run. Yes, you can bring your furry friends along to this race. Slots are limited, though, so sign up now! Registered participants will receive the NatGeo race kit containing a race bib, a race singlet, a hydration bottle, a belt bag, and a drawstring bag.
Nat Geo Earth Day Run
April 14, 2019
SM Mall of Asia Open Grounds
Online registration: Nat Geo Run 2019’s website or Lazada’s shopping site.
Onsite registration: SM North Edsa, SM Aura, SM Mall of Asia, and SM Southmall