Plant a tree instead of taking a t-shirt at Cork City Marathon

This year for Cork City Marathon 2022 we want to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly marathon. We are passionate about making the earth a priority. 

We are committed to reducing our waste, using green suppliers where possible and using environmentally friendly, compostable materials for our race. This year we came up with the initiative for participants to help to plant a tree instead of taking a t-shirt which will continue for the future.

Making a t-shirt has a significant environmental impact. A single cotton t-shirt requires the same amount of water that a human drinks in 2.5 years, as well as over 2kg of eCO2. All of those precious resources will have been wasted if it is never worn. Technical t-shirts are synthetic clothes, they are made of materials like polyester, which generate tiny plastic fibres when washed, which eventually flow into rivers and the sea. Research suggests that synthetic fabrics are responsible for up to 35% of all the microplastics polluting the ocean.

Planting a tree also has significant environmental benefits. It aids in the fight against climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as well as providing a habitat for a variety of species and providing us with clean air to breathe.

Therefore, we will make a donation to plant a tree on behalf of every runner that decides not to take a t-shirt.

Our new partnership with An Dúlra to re-establish native woodlands in Ireland

For this initiative, we have partnered with An Dúlra to re-establish native woodlands in Ireland. 

From this year on, participants can choose to help to plant a tree instead of taking a t-shirt. Anybody who has registered already will have the option to change their t-shirt choice to supporting a tree. We’ll be in touch with everybody who has registered already in the coming days. 

How to change my t-shirt for a tree?

Simply log on to your Eventmaster Account and edit your details through the ‘Manage My Booking’. There you will have the option to change your t-shirt size and by clicking the ‘Plant a Tree instead of my T-Shirt – I don’t need another T-shirt’ option it will automatically add your name to sponsor new tree planting.

What does An Dúlra do?

An Dúlra works with Irish Tree Planting organisations and The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to ensure that any of their forests receive the correct license to establish native woodlands. They have long term business strategies such as networking with beekeepers to have hives within their forests or mixing native fruit trees within their forests to create organic food sources. 

One reason why we decided to partner with An Dúlra is that they purchase land in Ireland that is suitable for planting native trees and follow the correct licensing process to ensure that the trees are planted with oversight. It also means that any forests that they establish are legally required to remain as native woodland for centuries, ensuring that the trees will grow to a mature forest that will capture carbon and create a habitat with biodiversity in mind.

Over the centuries, Ireland experienced near-total destruction of its forests mainly because of human activity and a deterioration of the climate: from an initial forest cover of around 80% to less than 1%. Ireland is the only country in Europe where such complete forest destruction took place.

By runners supporting this initiative, An Dúlra will plant trees on Cork City Marathon’s behalf in Co. Roscommon and Co. Mayo to help to re-establish the land back into a sustainable forest. We are also working with the Cork City Council’s tree officer to support local initiatives in future years.

By sponsoring a tree, you will help to make this happen!


An Dúlra’s new site in Co. Mayo where Cork City Marathon trees will be planted

An Dúlra’s new site in Co. Mayo where Cork City Marathon trees will be planted

Join us on the June bank holiday weekend for a unique run through the streets of Cork city.

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