It started with a gel top I found during a trail run. My run was fueled with frustration from seeing the top nestled up between fallen leaves and roots, because it wasn’t the first and it probably wouldn’t be the last. I couldn’t let it go—I was now on a mission to prevent accidental top drops. I came home and wrote a blog post about it to introduce runners and adventure seekers alike to the “3/4 Gel Top Approach.”
My gel top rant didn’t end with a blog post. I wanted to do more—I wanted to reach a wider audience with my message, so I went directly to a company with a vested interest in preventing gel tops from littering our trail and streets. I approached GU Energy Labs, maker of my favorite energy gels (Chocolate Outrage to be specific) with a challenge for athletes.
The idea was simple: Encourage athletes to use the 3/4 Gel Top Approach during their activities and then take a picture of the gel package with the top still attached and post it to GU’s social media channels. In return, a few lucky GU’ers would receive cool swag for taking the pledge to be more conscientious during athletic activities. And to my delight, within one hour of sending an email to GU, I received an email back stating interest in collaborating. It made my day.
Brian Gillis, marketing communications manager at GU, shared with me that the company has also been concerned about seeing gel tops and packages on the trails. They’ve taken steps to combat unnecessary waste by partnering with TerraCycle, a waste recovery and recycling company. The innovative program lets athletes collect their performance nutrition packages (any brand) and send them to TerraCycle for reuse/recycling. And now GU wants to reward its customers who prevent accidental top drops.
Get your fingers warmed up—the #StashYourTrash contest will begin on Monday, April 4th, so stay tuned here for more details. In the meantime, for a little inspiration, check out How Salty the Yeti Eats a GU Energy Gel.