Lose weight. Get healthy. These are always high atop the list of New Years resolutions. While it’s never easy to get in shape, you can at least feel good knowing there are many ways to make your workout more environmentally friendly.
Water bottles and music
Let’s start with the basics. We all know that hydration is extremely important for health, but it’s especially imperative when you’re exercising. Utilizing reusable water bottles helps cut down on waste. Sigg makes a line of reusable water bottles that are made from aluminum so they can be recycled when needed.
You can’t workout without music. Try the Marware Eco-Runner Armband Case for the iPod Nano. It’s made with environmentally friendly materials like recycled plastic. Or go all out by using the battery-less Powerplus Verio wind-up MP3 player, which is recharged by turning a hand crank.
Next, you need to look good while working out, of course.
Gaiam has become synonymous with healthy living. Much of their clothing is made with organic cotton and soy fiber blends, making them a great alternative to synthetic materials.
There are a number of other eco-friendly clothing retailers that also offer recycling opportunities.
Patagonia, an outdoor clothing and apparel company, allows you to recycle their fleece, baselayer products and cotton t-shirts by mailing them in or dropping them off at a retail store.
GoLite, another apparel company, has a number of sustainability pledges, but a fairly unique one is the I’m Not Trash take-back program, which outlines ways to make products last longer and provides suggestions for reuse or repurposing once the product is worn out. As a last resort, the company will take back the product for recycling if need be.
Don’t forget the shoes. Way back in the early ‘90s, Nike began the Reuse-a-Shoe program, which collects and processes old athletic shoes into Nike Grind, which is then used to create athletic and playground surfaces as well as other Nike products. Since then, Nike has recycled 24 million pairs of shoes. You can bring up to 10 athletic shoes, even if they’re not Nike brand, to any Nike retail store for collection.
Your workout routine
Now that you’re styling, we should probably get down to business – the actual workout.
Bicycle trainers are a cheaper alternative to exercise bikes or treadmills, and they use no electricity. You simply clip in your bicycle, and the trainer makes your road bike a stationary bike.
A self-powered treadmill? You bet. Woodway’s Eco Mill uses batteries for the display, but they are recharged with the power you create as you run or walk. Other than that, it relies on a near frictionless drive system that allows you to workout without power. All you have to do is get on, set the desired maximum speed and walk. There’s even a USB port so you can plug in your iPod or cell phone, which is also powered as you walk.
Natural Fitness has a wide variety of fitness options that are made with recycled or eco-friendly materials. Check out the Resistance Toning Kit, complete with a balance ball and resistance tubes made from recycled materials.
In addition to offering eco-friendly fitness accessories, the company established a Zero Impact Program that offsets the environmental impacts of manufacturing and distributing their gear. A small part of the ZIP is the Plant-A-Tree Initiative, where the company funds the planting of a tree for every product sold.
No matter what your fitness goals are these products can help you reach them while staying green.