tree planting in Scotland

Scottish races lead the way & go green with Trees Not Tees

Trees Not Tees is proving a popular alternative environmentally-friendly race benefit

The Trees Not Tees project is making an impact in Scotland with Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Inverness Half Marathon among the events already signed-up to offer the environmentally-friendly option.

Other events that plan to take the Trees Not Tees approach include Brighton Marathon, Milton Keynes Marathon and Centurion Running Events, plus Glasgow University’s Aquathon.

With at least 20% of runners choosing the tree option from races so far, there’s a clear demand for a green alternative which can reduce the environmental footprint of a race considerably. Meanwhile, the runners who really want the T-shirt will still have the option, so it’s a win-win for race organisers, runners and the environment.

The environmental impact of T-shirt production is considerable, each creating around 2kg of ECO2. And Trees Not Tees believes that for every well-worn finisher’s T-shirt, there’s numerous hardly-worn tops, one step away from landfill.

With Trees not Tees, race organisers simply add an option to their sign-up form, offering participants the choice to tick ‘I don’t want my T-shirt / medal, plant a tree for me instead’; a simple process.

After the race, the organiser sends Trees not Tees a list of the participants who chose a tree and they are subsequently assigned a newly planted sapling with an accompanying e-certificate, including a photo, the species and 'what3words' location.

Trees not Tees was founded by ultrarunner Jim Mann and Jade Read in early 2020. They now have 430 acres of land in Dalry, Scotland, as well as a new site on Mull, and all planting plans are approved by Scottish Natural Heritage to ensure the right broadleaf species, such as oak, birch and alder, are planted in the right place.

To find out more about Trees Not Tees visit the project website. Organisers who want to consider Trees not Tees as an option for their event can get in touch via You can follow Trees not Teese on Instagram.

Image courtesy: Trees Not Tees

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