We all know about the mind and body benefits of an active lifestyle. what impact are your workouts and gym life having on the planet’ resources? From the energy used to power gyms and produce fitness kit, to snacks packaged in single-use plastic, changes need to be made. Greenpeace estimates that 12.7 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans each year, and a report by the Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme reveals the UK’s sports and recreation buildings spend £700 million on energy every year, resulting in annual emissions of 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide – the principal contributor climate change. But how can you make your workouts more eco-friendly? Read on to discover how you can green your fitness regime.
How Eco Friendly is Your Fitness Routine? Try These Hints and Tips to Ease Your Conscience and The Burden on The Planet Photo Gallery
HOW GREEN IS YOUR GYM?
With rows of cardio machines, air conditioning and fluorescent lighting, traditional gyms are an energy bill’s worst nightmare. But innovations in equipment and design could change all this. Eco fitness equipment company SportsArt (gosportsart.com) has created a range of sustainable treadmills, bikes and cross trainers that each generate up to 200 watts of electricity per hour by converting up to 74 per cent of the kinetic energy produced from your movement into electricity. To put this in perspective, a desktop computer uses 400 watts an hour and a hair dryer 1,200 watts an hour, while a circuit of 10 SportsArt machines could generate an annual saving of £1,300 of electricity in one gym. Leading the way in eco-friendly gyms is Terra Hale (terrahale.com) with three London locations, all kitted out in recycled materials, from rubber studio floors to reclaimed wood walls – which are also covered with air-filtering plants such as ivy. Its rowing machines use water for resistance instead of electricity, and the Shepherd’s Bush studio is London’s first human-powered gym, harnessing members’ energy on Spin bikes to power the facilities (each class generates 1,500-3,300 watts and cuts about 165g of CO₂ emissions). Eco Gym (eco-gym.co.uk) also converts human energy into electricity, reduces water consumption and discourages harmful waste at its Brighton and Lancing, West Sussex locations. And gym chain 1 Rebel (1rebel.co.uk) is eliminating single-use plastic cups at water cooler stations.
With research showing that some 38.5 million plastic bottles are bought across the UK each day, and 15 million of these go straight into landfill, the war against plastic bottles rages on Investing in a reusable water bottle workouts helps the environment, your bank balance, and your health if you choose one that’s BPA-free. Plus statistics suggest that carrying a refillable water bottle means you’re more likely to drink the recommended one to two litres of fluid a day. Great BPA-free water bottle brands to try include S’Well (amara.com), Bio- synergy (bio-synergy.uk) and Hydro Flask (amazon.co.uk), but if you leave yours at home, look out for CanO Water (£1 for 500ml, Tesco) This still or sparkling mineral water in a recyclable aluminium can with resealable lid was created by three friends in 2015 after seeing a plastic-strewn beach in Thailand. Nearly 75 per cent of all aluminium ever produced is still in use today, with the UK recycling 72 per cent.
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