How to Green Your Workout
Here are five ways to green-up your workout to make it as healthy for the earth as it is for your body:
Change Your Clothes
When you pull on a 100 percent cotton t-shirt before you exercise you may think choosing natural over synthetic fabrics is an earth-friendly choice. The Organic Consumers Association says if it's not organic cotton. Your t-shirt is only 77 percent cotton. The other 23 percent is chemicals used to grow that cotton.
Even organic cotton t-shirts aren't the greenest way to go. It takes hundreds of gallons of water to grow organic cotton plus gallons of fuel to manufacture and transport the shirt to market. Your greenest bet is to purchase gently worn workout clothes from consignment and thrift stores or swap with your friends.
Recycle Your Shoes
When you can't get even one more mile out of your sneakers, recycle them with Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program that turns them into playground surfaces.
Change Your Water Bottle
Good for you for choosing water over soda or sports drinks, but if you're buying bottled water, you're not green enough. Americans throw away almost 35 billion plastic water bottles every year and only a third gets recycled. Instead, buy a reusable water bottle and fill it at home. You'll save money and avoid adding to the landfill. If you simply must buy bottled water, look for brands that use natural materials (like corn products) to manufacture the bottles instead of plastics.
Quit Your Gym
Driving to a brightly lit, always open, air-conditioned gym uses energy in all kinds of ways starting with the gas for your car just to get there. Then there's electricity to power all those gym machines and entertainment systems and to keep the air cool and lights on. Even gym-perks like towel service and saunas (water, electricity, gas) guzzle energy.
Instead, work out with your own equipment at home or hop on a bike. Go for a run, a walk, or play basketball at the park.
Change Your Gym
Save the gym for nasty weather and when you do go, take your own towel and water. Ask the gym manager to adopt greener practices like using non-toxic cleaning and bathing supplies.
Investigate if your city has a sustainable gym. Some cities have small gyms that collect the energy created by treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical trainers and return it to the power grid. The more customers work out, the more energy they create and the less they have to pay for gym memberships.
Every step you take towards working out in green ways counts towards keeping you and the earth healthy.
Organic Consumers Association
Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe Program
The Green Microgym
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