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Is Going to the Gym a Green Practice?

Going to the gym can make your body feel good, but what does it do to the environment? From your commute to the gym, to the amount of energy these facilities use for lights and equipment, it may seem like you should either stay home or exercise outside. However, gyms can be more eco-friendly with a few changes to their management, design and practices.

Going to the gym a green practice

How Do Gyms Affect the Environment?

Like many public facilities, gyms produce significant carbon emissions through their use of electricity. Gyms often keep their HVAC systems and cooling units all day in a high-sweat environment. Machines like treadmills, ellipticals and pool maintenance also use up a lot of energy.

There may be high water consumption, as well, is the gym has spa-quality showers, saunas and hot tubs. All of these services and amenities can add up to a big carbon footprint. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Can a Gym Go Green?

A gym can decrease its carbon footprint in its design and management, from how gyms update their machinery to changing the norm on how people use gym resources. Here are a few ways a gym can go green: 

  • Changing the lights: Businesses can cut down power consumption with light sensors and timers. In the gym, this saves power during off-peak hours when only a few people are there. They can also switch off lights at closing time or install timers, if it’s a 24-hour facility.   
  • Replacing single-use items: With the number of people going to the gym daily, single-use items can quickly pile up. Gyms can reduce waste by replacing paper towels with bamboo sheets and stop selling bottled water in favor of an indoor water fountain or water refill station.  
  • Incorporating energy-efficient equipment: Gyms can reduce waste by refurbishing old equipment or installing machines, like recumbent bikes, using kinetic energy to produce electricity that charges batteries. Newer gyms can design a gym with plant-based gym floors made from rice husks, almond shells and antimicrobial bamboo yoga mats to prevent off-gassing.  
  • Revisiting gym access: Instead of plastic gym cards and tags, gyms can design an app with a QR code or access codes for people to enter. To limit the waste from old access tags, guests can drop them off and the gym can take them for recycling. 
  • Including plants in gym design: Plants can contribute to a cooler room, purify the air and reduce mold and bacteria levels. Gyms can incorporate plants in different ways. For example, GreenFitness Studio in Brooklyn has a rooftop garden where gymgoers can contribute with their patch to decrease pollution and reduce building cooling costs. Smaller gyms can install hanging plants. Suitable plants include snake plants or chrysanthemums, if a gym wants various colors in their gymscape. 

How Can You Make Your Gym-Going a More Sustainable Practice?

In addition to bringing a refillable water bottle, your own towel and limiting how much time you spend in the shower, speak to the gym owner or manager. Ask them if they can switch to clean energy for their power supply. If not, they can purchase a green tag or certificate, increasing the amount of clean power entering the national electricity supply. 

You can also suggest eco-friendly equipment and small changes like switching to sensor lights and installing low-flow shower heads or timers in the gym to limit water use. Other ways to go green include using eco-friendly cleaning products, as well as non-VOC paints and flooring, when it’s time to upgrade. 

If your gym manager is agreeable, it’s worth convincing them to reduce the gym’s carbon footprint. 

Make Going to the Gym a Green Practice

While major sustainability changes may take a while to go into effect, people prioritizing green gyms and pushing gym owners and managers to relook at their sustainable efforts will get the ball rolling to make gyms a greener practice.

The post Is Going to the Gym a Green Practice? appeared first on Biofriendly Planet | For a Cooler Environment.

By: Beth Rush
Title: Is Going to the Gym a Green Practice?
Sourced From:
Published Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2024 13:23:17 +0000

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