All of us, creatures big and small, need to do our part to keep the planet healthy. Help support some of the green initiatives in our city by running in The Clean Air Council's 34th annual Run for Clean Air which will be held on Saturday, April 18 this year at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, starting at 8:30 a.m.

At this fun early Earth Day celebration, there will be activities for the whole family with a 5K Run, a new 10K run, a 3K walk and a MOM's Organic Market Kids Fun Run.

New this year is the 10K presented by the Philadelphia Insurance Companies. On why they added the 10K, Katie Edwards, Clean Air Council's special events and communications director explained, "We have a lot of returning runners who are training for longer runs so we thought it would be good to add a 10K."

Because of the mission of the Clean Air Council, of course, sustainability and avoiding pollution and overconsumption are key goals at all of their events. Every year the Run for Clean Air pledges and becomes a certified green run by AFitPlanet. The Clean Air Council takes great pride in its ongoing efforts to keep pushing the limits of the event's sustainability

"At our races, we have always been concerned about keeping a small energy footprint, but now we are really going to up our game," she said.

All the water served at the race will come from giant jugs and poured into compostable cups to prevent the need for throwaway bottles, and all the food will be organic and vegetarian. Ever have a bicycled powered smoothie? Now is your chance to try one. Prefer something stronger? Enjoy a beer from Victory, the most sustainable brewery in the area. Registered runners over 21 will receive a free one for crossing the finish line.

Even the medals awarded to the winners leave a small footprint. "They are made from a local artist who brings attention to waste management by using construction and demo waste as art material," Edwards said.

They are not stopping there though. The race bibs are made on seeded paper and all runners are encouraged to take public transportation or to bike to the race (there will be a bike valet). To ensure a small as possible footprint, the race will run on solar energy.

Make sure you come on out and support the Clean Air Council. Currently, they are working on ensuring that natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania is being regulated correctly and keeping the public informed on proposed pipelines.

"People in the community need to know what is happening and how it will affect them," she said.

There is still time to register for the Run for Clean Air. Sign up now at runforcleanair.com. The 10K is $45, the 5K, $35, 3K $25 and the Kids Run $10.

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