What makes a gym green?

What makes a gym green?
The green revolution has been sweeping the country in full force for quite a few years now, but there are always new aspects of life to consider making greener. New products and technology are allowing you to use less energy and create less waste in all parts of your life, including your gym. Whether you’re putting together a home gym or looking for strategies to make your gym business more environmentally friendly, there are many strategies you can use to decrease your impact on the planet.

Low-energy equipment

Many types of exercise equipment require electricity to run, but they don’t have to. Purely mechanical machines use belts, gears and other physical components to keep the machine going. Greener technology, however, has allowed manufacturers to create gym equipment that harnesses some energy from the operation of the equipment to power the electrical components. Machines like ellipticals, exercise bikes and treadmills can operate their digital displays and other power features, such as incline changes, with the energy you create when you’re using them.

Environmentally friendly cleaning products

Keeping a gym clean is important, especially when multiple people use the same equipment, but you also want to ensure the air breathable. Environmentally friendly cleaning products are a great option because their chemicals aren’t harsh like standard store-bought products and will keep even the smallest of gyms smelling fresh. Green cleaners also create less pollution by decreasing the number of synthetic chemicals released into the environment during the production and use of the products. Go one step farther and employ natural products you can mix yourself.

Reduced water use

As you know, people sweat when they exercise. Between gym clothes and towels – especially those for commercial use – you face a lot of laundry. Make your gym greener by using an environmentally friendly washing machine. Most front-loading machines use less water than top-loading models, which also saves a lot of electricity when you’re using warm or hot water. When you’re running a gym as a business, installing low-flow faucets, shower heads and toilets can also significantly decrease your use of water.

Using recycled materials

In addition to using products updated to be greener, you should also consider how you can use recycled materials in your gym. Whether you purchase paper products made from recycled materials or rescue pre-owned gym equipment that would have otherwise be discarded, you are reducing the amount of waste that goes into the environment by giving these items new life. Consider as well recycled tiles or repurposed rubber flooring for your public gym. At home, give thought to installing reclaimed wood flooring or mixing and matching complementary carpet square remnants.

These ideas should be able to get you started making your home or commercial gym greener. A basic principle to keep in mind is asking with each purchase whether there’s a greener option. Acquiring items that are recycled, energy-efficient and less wasteful of precious resources like water are excellent choices for making your gym more Earth-friendly.

This is a guest post by Jessica Stark from Eat Breathe Blog.  Jessica is interested in social media and environmental issues. She also enjoys learning about technology, spending time outdoors, and writing on behalf of Sears and other brands she trusts.

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About

Steve holds a degree in Environmental Engineering Technology from Humber College in Toronto, is a LEED Accredited Professional and a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor. He currently lives in Victoria BC and works as a green building consultant specializing in residential projects.

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