How the 3-Day Stays Green in a Pink World

All of us here at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® work hard to create a safe yet memorable experience for our participants, from the time you register until after you take your victory walk into the Closing Ceremony. Putting on an event for thousands of participants takes a lot of preparation, and the Komen 3-Day keeps environmental consciousness strongly in mind, not just on Earth Day, but every day when planning and executing its events.

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Here are some things the 3-Day® does to stay green:

Before the Event

  • A few years ago, we began posting the 3-Day walker and crew handbooks online to save paper. Only walkers who are completely new to the 3-Day get a mailed set. Today, except for a single welcome envelope sent when you register, all of your 3-Day resources are provided electronically.
  • This year, we stopped mailing out printed informational brochures, and instead provide details about the 3-Day in emails and on our website.

On the Event

  • Event staff, crew and volunteers are meticulous about trash pick-up at all event locations (our expectation is to leave our event locations cleaner than we found them).
  • Many of our event materials, such as route signs, are reused from year to year.
  • We have separate receptacles for trash and recycled materials at all route stops and in camp, and most camp locations also have bins for composting.
  • Participants bring their own water bottles to the event, which allows us to use gallon jugs of water rather than thousands of single plastic bottles.
  • We mix sports drink in 5 gallon jugs for participants to fill their water bottles as well, which also cuts out single-bottle waste.
  • The event staff and volunteers use GPS units for the event vehicles, which cuts back on waste from printed maps.

After the Event

  • After the Closing Ceremony, participants can donate their used shoes, which we then send to recycling centers.
  • All of our leftover water and snacks from the events are donated to local charity organizations.
  • All of the tarps, air mattresses, sleeping bags, etc. that discarded by participants after the event are donated to local charity organizations as well.

 

3-Day participants make the world a better place by raising money and walking, and we’re happy to do our small part to leave that world a better place too. What do you do to stay green on your 3-Day journey?

“At Mile 1, I Found My BFF”

When a submission email for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® blog came in from Lisa C., I was immediately hooked by her subject line: “At Mile 1, I found my BFF.” Lisa, who is walking in the Komen 3-Day this year in San Diego, wrote, “I love surfing around on the 3-Day® website and have been inspired by the banners that read such things as: At Mile 20, I Found My Commitment; At Mile 34, I Found My Inspiration; At Mile 60, I Found My Strength, etc. This got me to thinking about what I found along the miles of my own 3-Day journey. The first thing that came to mind was: At Mile 1, I Found My BFF.”

In 2011, a friend approached Lisa about participating in the 3-Day and she agreed without hesitation. “I immediately said yes, [but not] because I knew anyone with breast cancer. I said yes because I love a challenge. I signed up right away.”

The friend who had recruited Lisa ultimately decided not to walk, but that didn’t stop Lisa from charging forward. “I threw myself into fundraising and training. I was a constant visitor to the Connections [Message Board] for the Twin Cities 3-Day. I was asking questions left and right and receiving responses. Finally, someone asked if I wanted to join Team Girlapalooza. It turns out that there were several lone walkers joining this team for various reasons that year.”

Team Girlapalooza met up early on Day 1 of the Twin Cities 3-Day, and after the Opening Ceremony, they started walking together. That’s where Lisa met a fellow Palooza, Marli.

Komen 3-Day breast cancer walk team girlapalooza friends

Lisa and Marli

Lisa describes their first meeting: “Have you ever met someone and it seems like you knew them forever? That’s how it was for me [and Marli]. Within the first mile, we found ourselves walking side-by-side, at the same pace. We began chatting.” They learned about each other’s lives, jobs, homes and families as they walked. Nothing like 60 miles to allow you to cover every topic under the sun!

Lisa also learned that Marli is quite camera-happy. “She was constantly stopping to take pictures of or with various landmarks, sunrises, sunsets, pit stops, fellow walkers, crew and safety personnel. By the end of the walk, I just had to hold out my hand for her camera. I just knew when she wanted a picture. She taught me to slow down and enjoy the journey, which was great because I am the type of person who would have put my head down and just plowed through.”

By Day 3, Lisa and Marli were as tight as could be, and were saddened to have to part ways (Lisa would head back to Wisconsin, Marli would be going home to Arizona). They agreed to walk the following year in Washington, D.C.—the home of Team Girlapalooza. “We kept in touch with each other via Facebook and a year later we found ourselves in D.C. We met a few days early and got in some sightseeing (yes we walked about 20 miles before the 60-mile walk!). During our trip we laughed at the same things, finished each other’s sentences and tripped over the same cracks in the sidewalk. We often found ourselves saying things like ‘I was just going to say that’ or ‘I was just thinking that!’” Lisa says they got so involved with talking and catching up that they missed seeing the White House and had to double back to take pictures.

It was around that time that Lisa found out about a friend’s breast cancer diagnosis. “I no longer was walking for myself but to honor Nancy’s struggle and determination to beat this disease. Knowing someone with breast cancer has made me much more aware of the struggles of others.”

Lisa and her 3-Day bestie Marli met again for the 2013 3-Day in Seattle but sadly, Lisa was unable to walk because of a broken foot. “I felt like I had failed. Marli was there to support me the entire time. She convinced me that I wasn’t quitting. I posted online that you know you are a 3-Dayer when you are laying in a hotel room on a comfy bed eating pizza but you really want to be eating mac and cheese and sleeping on the ground in a pink tent.”

Lisa, Marli and other Girlapalooza teammates will be reuniting for the 3-Day in San Diego later this year, and they both look forward to reconnecting and continuing their adventure.

Lisa wrapped up her story with a final thought: “So, for all of you first time walkers out there, know this: the Susan G. Komen 3-Day will change you in ways you never imagined. At Mile 1, I met my BFF.”

 

What have you found on the miles of the 3-Day? Tell us in comments!

March 3-Day Meet-up Round-up

All across the land, our Susan G. Komen 3-Day® coaches are busy getting walkers and crew members prepared and pumped up. Take a peek at some of the meetings and training walks that brought our Komen 3-Day family face-to-face since last month!

Michigan – The continually nasty winter temps couldn’t keep our Michigan 3-Day participants from gathering at the end of February for a reunion/reception at the Novi Civic Center. Just look at those smiles!

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Seattle – 3-Day coach Aubrey shared, “My library overbooked the room I was supposed to have for my meeting. At the last second, Paula and Jon [Aubrey’s fellow Seattle coaches] helped me get in touch with the RSVPs. I had 4 RSVPs but ended up with 8 attendees at a restaurant around the corner. All but one were first-time walkers!”

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There was also a Seattle 3-Day Reunion at a local bowling alley, which brought in nearly 30 attendees. New friendships, good food and bowling? Sounds awesome.

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And this little cutie accompanied her mom to a Get Started Meeting. Aubrey said there were lots of great questions, laughs and inspiration, and called it her “greatest Get Started Meeting yet!”

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Atlanta – Our Atlanta training walk leaders are excited to hit the pavement with the new and veteran walkers. They met up last week to chat about this year’s training goals.

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Dallas/Fort Worth – Oh my gravy! The Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day coaches and participants have been busy this month!

A small but mighty group of all new walkers gathered in Dallas.

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The Go Federal Credit Union team, Cure for the Coconuts, met for happy hour with 3-Day coach Gayla. They are all new walkers and are so excited to get started. They’re already working on recruiting more of their co-workers to walk or volunteer in Dallas/Fort Worth in November.

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Another small yet strong Get Started Meeting began with only 3 attendees, but brought in a fourth who just happened to be passing by the room. Gayla shares, “She saw the video and was crying after.” Isn’t unexpected inspiration amazing?

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Team Z-Bra Girls is led by 9 year veteran walker Nina R., and in all their years of walking, they had never been to a Get Started Meeting. So Gayla met up with them at a Mexican restaurant to encourage more recruitment. They had a blast and captured this adorable picture.

Komen_3Day_dallas fort worth_z bra girls

Seventeen-year-old Katie H. is on her way! She’s on the Presbytittyans, walking with her friend Emilee W.  Katie is pictured at a Get Started Meeting in Frisco with her mom, a nurse who is thinking about joining the Medical crew in Dallas.

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And finally, No Walker Left Behind captain, Mary T. hosted a Lunch & Learn at her home in Cedar Hill, where a great group joined to get even more inspired about walking.

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San Diego – The San Diego 3-Day community has taken advantage of its year-round sunny skies and started training. Coach Kim and an incredible 23 walkers completed a 3.85-mile Walk & Talk. Way to go, San Diego!

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Have you and your teammates been meeting up to plan, train or fundraise for the 3-Day? Send us your stories and pictures, or post them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (don’t forget to tag #The3Day). And if you’re looking for an official 3-Day meet-up in your area, click here to find our calendar of local events.