Greening your workout isn’t too hard. Skip the gym as much as possible, use the outdoors instead of machines, carpool to the gym when you do go, and only use one towel after your shower. Here’s how to green up your gear, too.
Every workout starts with a great pair of shoes, so look for a pair that have been kind to the Earth. Some companies manufacture their soles from recycled rubber, while others aim to make the whole shoe green. These brands not only use recycled and natural rubbers to form the sole, but also recycled and organic fabrics for the shell. Organic shells are often softer and more breathable than other shoes, so they’re even more workout-friendly.
Look for clothing made from organic cotton. Non-organic cotton is among the most damaging crops to the Earth. It requires tons of fertilization and is often irrigated. To irrigate, farmers usually redirect a river or stream during the hottest months of the year, causing a whole host of issues for the land upstream that’s forced to face a vanished or reduced water supply. The irrigated fields are flooded and drained, rinsing away all the pesticides and other chemicals, and leading to pollution and a damaged water supply for locals and wildlife. Organic cottons are grown without chemicals and are therefore much less damaging to the land. Other options include soy, bamboo and hemp blends, all of which have much more Earth-friendly growing processes.
Used plastics are a huge problem, because they aren’t biodegradable. Plastic litter has formed a massive floating island of trash in the Pacific Ocean that’s twice the size of the continental United States. That’s a huge threat to sea life and an ugly scar in the middle of a beautiful body of water. To keep from doing any more damage, we must find an alternative to throwing away plastic. Champion has come up with one solution by designing a new line of workout gear called Eco Fleece, which is made with fibers from recycled plastic bottles. This line of clothing is perfect for outdoor workouts, especially in cooler weather. By wearing recycled clothing, you can look good and help the planet at the same time.
Your workout gear doesn’t have to be brand new to do its job. If you’re in the market for a new piece of exercise equipment, look at second-hand shops and yard sales before you buy new. A used purchase benefits your wallet and reduces the number of items that need to be manufactured.