EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.
There are numerous ways to green your daily dose of physical fitness. Here are some tips for energizing your exercise with a green boost courtesy of EarthShare.org:
- Take it outside whenever you can. Instead of increasing your energy consumption via home and gym exercise machines, take advantage of hiking and biking trails in your area. One big advantage to the great outdoors – it’s free and always interesting.
- Recycle your cross-trainers. After putting in all of that extra mileage, your new shoes are bound to lose their bounce. Instead of tossing them, give your shoes new life with Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program. Worn out shoes are used to build new tracks, basketball and tennis courts. Nike has collected over 25 million shoes since 1990.
- Buy used workout DVDs. It’s a great way to recycle and save money.
- Use refillable water bottles and avoid using one-time use plastic water bottles. It’s time to commit to using refillable water bottles for workouts and everyday hydration. Using a refillable bottle means less waste in landfills and more money in your wallet. According to the Container Recycling Institute, only 23% of plastic bottles are recycled in the U.S. which means 38 billion plastic bottles go into landfills each year.
- Inspire a green makeover at your health club or gym. If the great outdoors just aren’t for you, consider encouraging your gym to make some eco-friendly upgrades.
- Recycling bins and energy efficient machines.
- Signage asking patrons to limit their towel usage.
- A few large televisions generally run less electricity than individual TVs on every machine. A sign on the screen reminding users to turn it off after use could save a kilowatt-hour per unit, per day.
- Turn the thermostat up a little in the summer, and down a little in the winter. Climate control accounts for far more energy than all the treadmills combined.
- If you’re looking for a new gym, ask what they’re doing for the environment.
- Join a neighborhood gym that’s within walking distance to where you work and/or live. Support your local economy and save gas at the same time.
- Looking for some new workout clothing or gear? Organic cotton and bamboo threads are a great place to start for sweat-friendly green fabrics. For eco-conscious equipment choices, check the web or a local sporting goods shop for great deals on secondhand bikes and weights. For new clothing or gear, be sure to check out Gaiam and Natural Fitness Inc. Both companies are practicing some pretty innovative manufacturing techniques and are utilizing recycled rubber and materials to produce their workout goods.
- Get creative with your workout routine. It’s not always easy to find time to head to the gym or commit to an after-work jogging schedule. Try to throw in an extra walk or bike ride during your lunch break for a calorie-burning boost. Another great way to supplement your gym routine: Try knocking out some house or yard work by attacking the job with gusto! Shoveling snow, raking leaves, vacuuming and dusting can be great activities for burning off a greasy business lunch or the sins of the holiday season.
My Green Side’s web pick of the week:
Gaiam’s site focuses on personal development, health & wellness and global consciousness. It’s full of inspirational media and solutions for healthy living, environmental wellness and renewal of spirit. Their blog has great articles and tips on everything from 5 Ways to Save Money on Organic Foods to Quick and Easy Arm Workouts.