Get Lean and Mean while Staying Green

By Adam Eisman – Contributing Writer
Posted on Sunday 3rd May 2009

Exercise is important. It keeps our minds fresh, and our bodies’ processes functioning at a normal level. However, keeping down the weight can result in an excess of emissions and waste. Here are some ways to watch your figure, while keeping your carbon footprint from getting bloated.

  1. Reusable Water Bottles - A hard workout can require the ingestion of lots of liquids. After all, you have to keep the body’s core temperature at a manageable level if you plan on not visiting the hospital any time soon. However, bottled water is the worst way to get these liquids. Consider buying a Nalgene-type water bottle that is nearly indestructible, but offers the ability to be washed and reused. There are other types made of steel, and even others with filters built into the top. Any type of reusable bottle will be better than a store bought bottle, and it will save you money, as well as the environment.

  2. Organic Foods - Organic foods are sure to be devoid of the chemicals needed for many different types of food. Get your energy the natural way, by loading on carbohydrates for runs, and with organic cereal or granola bars.

  3. Walk, Run, or Bike - Exercise machines are really good at turning into other things; like clothes hangers, cup holders, and dust collectors. It is perhaps worse if they were used for their initial intent. This is because the machine requires a lot of energy to keep the track moving. You could easily take the exercise to the outdoors, thus minimizing the impact of your workout.

  4. Clothing - Whatever you need to get out there and improve your physique, you can get these products made from recycled fabric, organic materials, or other natural materials. After you’re done with something, find out if you can donate it to Good Will before tossing it into the trash can.

  5. Plant a Garden - Getting a really good garden going takes a lot of effort, and after it’s done it will supply your home with the organic and natural vegetables that your family desires. The garden will exist as an ongoing project, and will supply you with things to do almost all year round. If you do plant a garden, consider also getting a rain barrel, which will collect rain that you can use to water plants without raising your water bills.

  6. Wash Towels Less - Sweaty towels can go through a few sessions before they need to be washed. And since you’re going to take a shower after the workout anyway, who cares if your towel isn’t 100% clean?

  7. Natural Deodorants - Watch out for deodorants that use aluminum or formaldehyde. You can find other products that use natural plant-based ingredients. Also, some companies test their deodorants on animals, so look for a “Cruelty-Free” sticker on the product to indicate no animals were harmed in the testing of the product.

  8. Go to a Green Gym - Some gyms have heeded the green call, and are installing machines that use less energy, and utilize the kinetic energy gained from peddling to help power the gym.

It’s hard enough to get in shape as it is, so worrying about sustainability at the same time is quite the hassle. However, ignoring these problems now will make them much more difficult to deal with in the very near future.

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