In an era of social responsibility and going green we all know the importance of reducing our carbon footprint in our own homes and in our daily lives. Many businesses are now also getting ahead of the game by posting their green credentials on their website. However, until recently many gyms and health clubs have fallen behind in making efforts to minimise their impact on the environment.
According to recent research from the IHRSA as many as 75% of health clubs are now setting environmental goals to off-set their carbon footprint. This is great news for the environment and also good for their customers too. Some of the most basic principles being embraced include:
Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products
Large gym chains can go through more than 2000 litres of bleach, detergent and cleaning products every month. Simply moving to eco-friendly products can make a big impact on improving their eco-credentials and even reducing their bottom line. Reducing toxins is better for the environment and the health of gym members too.
Energy efficiencies in lighting, heating and water
Through the installation of energy efficient LED lighting with local and dimming controls plus sensor lighting which simply turns off in areas that are not being used such as stairwells, gyms can make real energy efficiencies. Installation of low-flow toilets, timed showers, water filtration, zoned programmable temperature controls and other energy saving technologies have been embraced now by many health clubs – large and small.
Eco Friendly Fitness Equipment
The ultimate eco-solution deployed in many gyms is the introduction of fitness equipment that can actually produce electricity from human generated power. Whilst this in itself is not enough to power the whole facility, with the installation of solar panels on gym roofs, some gyms are entirely carbon-neutral. Some of the biggest fitness equipment manufacturers including Life Fitness and Precor now make a range of machines that can be powered entirely my human movement and there are many gyms that install motors to their spin bikes so that a spin class can power electricity for the rest of the gym.
Many health clubs now only stock organic food and beverages in their bar and restaurant and also provide organic shampoos and shower gels in their changing rooms. Even the clothing sold in some gyms is organic clothing.
Personal training studios and gyms now have recycling bins throughout their facility to encourage members to recycle their plastic drinks bottles and cans.
With some of the smaller independent gyms taking the lead with their eco-friendly credentials many of the larger gym chains are now having to make changes too. Most of the leading gym chains and personal training studios are now positively embracing ways of improving their green credentials and acting in a socially responsible manner. So when you next visit your own gym, ask them what they are doing for the environment, whether they’re kitted out entirely from refurbished gym equipment, using sustainable building materials or using energy-efficient machines, its time to encourage them to do their part.
Matthew Rowe is a personal training manager at www.motivatept.co.uk one of the UK’s largest personal training companies. The Company has no physical premises but instead provides sessions in local parks or in customer’s homes. The company’s certified personal trainers use public transport, eco-friendly vehicles and even bicycles to get around. Photo via Hotel Casa Velas