A lot of people talk about changing the environment, ending global warming, and other related issues. But few people take dramatic action to do anything about it. We have joined to masses who use the environmentally friendly lightbulbs and I usually ride the bus or ride my bike to work. These are little things but they do add up, eventually!
Running is an interesting sport because at its most basic levels it is quite simple. Technically we just need a pair of shorts and a shirt to go running (barefoot running is a niche part of the community). Runners have created a large industry around the sport, which isn’t always as environmentally friendly. A large chunk of our shoes are made of rubber or some other oil derived product, we create large amounts of trash during races and training – which includes plastic bottles. As runners we are also keenly aware of our environment and the direct impact it can have on our running. Smog especially can play havoc with our lungs.
Companies such as Brooks are begining to create products which have less of a negative affect on the environment. The BioMoGo is currently in stores and their full line will use this product by the end of next year. Races such as the Urban Wildland races are starting to think about the impact they have.
Take everything I just talked about and throw it inside a building and you get a gym/fitness center with Personal trainers in Washington DC. One can only imagine the energy required to run a gym, not to mention the amount of water used, sewage produced, and overall negative impact on the envrionment. Yet for many runners they are a vital part of the routine – especially in cold weather states like Minnesota.
Enter the Eco-Gym. A newer style gym that relates to the environment in a different way. Some like the Green Microgym capture the energy output from exercise machines to partially power the facility. They also use solar panels to generate more of their electricity. Their website lists ways they are trying to be “Green” here are a few examples:
- Our SportsArt EcoPowr Treadmills use 30% less electricity than others
- Our solar panels generate an average of 8 Kilowatt Hours per day
- The Team Dynamo and Spin Bikes can collectively generate up to 350 watts continuous
- We are working with ReRev.com on ways to capture the excess energy from our elliptical trainers
- We have double flush toilets
- The paper towels and toilet seat covers in the bathrooms are made from recycled content
- Our personal trainers often take their clients outside for workouts
- We have automated our payment and billing systems to reduce paper usage
As you can tell some are more drastic than others! I imagine most gyms have an automated payment system. The Green Microgym is priced at $49 a month which seems pretty comparable to most places I’ve looked at in the past.
What do you think of this idea? Would you be willing to pay a little more if your gym went eco-friendly?
HT: NY Times
[tags] Environment, Running, Eco-Gym, Green [/tags]