Last week, we began our month of GOING GREEN with ideas on ‘How to Reduce our Plastic Waste at Home’. (If you haven’t already read it, check out that blog today!) To continue on our GREEN journey, we want to spend this week looking at what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint while working out. Though getting fit while going green isn’t frequently talked about, us FIP girls think it’s certainly an area up for discussion.
While our fitness habits do wonders for our bodies, they can come at a cost to the environment. Unconsciously or not, gym-goers across the world create a fair share of waste and use up a decent amount of resources in their commitment to health.
- Gyms burn through roughly 37,000 single-use water bottles a year.
- Typically only around 23% of plastic bottles find a recycling bin to be thrown away in.
- 30 minutes on the treadmill creates two pounds of Carbon Dioxide and enough electricity to light a Christmas tree for six hours.
- The wet wipes frequently available at gyms to clean machines, are not recyclable.
- Gyms use a substantial amount of water and energy to wash towels every day (One large fitness facility goes through 17,000 towels a day that need to be laundered).
Luckily, many of these statistics and more can be reversed without much effort on our part. Below is a list of changes we can make to ensure we are more eco-friendly on our fitness journeys.
1. BAN THE BOTTLE
Reusable water bottles are a must for a GREENER tomorrow. Many of us have already made the switch, but humans still buy approximately 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute. While that may only be around thirteen plastic bottles a month per person, consistently remembering to use your reusable water bottle could save the planet 156 bottles a year from being purchased. We know water is a fitness must, so let’s focus on drinking it responsibly while working out!
2. TAKE YOUR WORKOUT OUTDOORS
Humans do funny things sometimes, like driving ten minutes to the gym to walk or run on the treadmill for an hour. We have our routines, we like the gym’s motivational environment, and sometimes weather forbids us from being outside. But taking a workout outdoors can be very beneficial to our health as well as the environment’s. Not only do we get brighter moods and increased mental wellness, but by swapping thirty minutes on the treadmill for the same amount of time outside, we can reduce CO2 production and electricity consumption!
3. LIMIT YOUR TOWEL USAGE
Gyms go through hundreds of towels a day. While a towel here and a towel there seems like no harm, members consistently use more than one towel per visit resulting in a tremendous amount of laundry to be done daily. However, by limiting your usage to one or zero towels per visit, you can save the Earth gallons of water and hundreds of watts of electricity.
4. SHORTEN YOUR SHOWERS
Taking time to hit the showers after a workout is important, but we can definitely strive to make our showers shorter. The average American takes an 8.2 minute shower each day, which results in 17.2 gallons of water used!! Try to strive for a 5 minute shower or consider using body wipes and some dry shampoo to get that post-workout clean! Check out Goodwipes for a shower in a wipe or EVO Water Killer Dry Shampoo, a personal favorite to keep our hair fresh and clean.
5. DIGITAL DETOX
We use up a lot of phone battery at the gym. Surprisingly our workout time is filled with text messages, talking on the phone, and scrolling through social media. While it may help us pass the time during cardio or give us a rest between sets, the distraction overall lowers our intensity and increases our chance of injury. Therefore, try making your time at the gym a time of digital detox. Not only will your workout benefit, but your reduced usage will require one less time you have to recharge your phone. You might not be saving a lot of energy, but every little thing adds up and makes a difference in the end!
Compared to reducing our plastic consumption at home, going green while getting fit is hardly as daunting of a task. However, it’s importance should not be overlooked, especially by a community like us! Therefore, we encourage you to take the time this week to reflect on your own fitness habits and gym use. Are there any small changes you can make? Can any of the above be applied to make your fitness routines a little more GREEN?? Let us know Ladies, we always love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and feedback.