Nowadays, just about everyone is going green. From households to businesses, governmental organizations and beyond, the adoption of green practices is seemingly ubiquitous. If your gym is not green, it is time to make the transition. An eco-friendly gym is beneficial in multiple regards. Firstly, it reduces your utility bill. Secondly, an eco-friendly gym is a selling point to potential members as well as current members. Let's take a look at how to create an eco-friendly gym that serves these purposes while simultaneously reducing the burden on our increasingly fragile planet.
Your Eco-Friendly Gym: Where to Start
Take a moment to review your daily operations. Consider which features and actions are the most wasteful and burdensome to the environment. Give some thought to how minor alterations can make a meaningful impact on your facility's utility bill and position the business as a green enterprise in the eyes of environmentally-conscious individuals who are looking for an eco-friendly gym.
As an example, consider installing water bottle filling stations throughout the facility. These stations provide members with an immediate source of hydration so they do not have to use wasteful bottled water or sports drinks sold in plastic containers. Add a water bottle filling station to each fitness area of every floor of your facility and your members won't be tempted to buy water or sports drinks in such environmentally-harmful plastic containers.
Green Cleaning Supplies
Take a look at your gym's cleaning supply closet. If the cleaning solutions have words on their labels like “hazardous”, “warning” or “danger”, you are not cleaning your facility with environmentally-friendly supplies. Load up on natural disinfectant wipes. Place them throughout the facility so members and staff can clean exercise machines and weights when necessary. These wipes are degradable and completely safe for members and staff to touch. Be sure to place a trash can near each natural disinfectant wipe station so members are not tempted to toss the used wipe to the side assuming a staff member will pick it up.
Aside from ordering natural disinfectant wipes in bulk, you should also stock up on natural cleaning products that do not have toxic chemicals that threaten the environment as well as human health. Opt for green cleaning solutions that adhere to science-based standards for environmental protection. Such green cleaners minimize pollution by reducing the amount of synthetic chemicals released into the surrounding environment when they are initially produced and subsequently used. Eco-friendly versions of cleaning supplies are available for everything from floor care products to hand cleaners, sprays, soaps and so on.
Flooring for an Eco-Friendly Gym
Contrary to popular belief, green flooring options really do exist for fitness centers. You can have reused or recycled flooring materials installed at your facility. Many of these flooring materials are made of rubber. Green materials significantly extend the lifespan of the floor as they are primarily composed of post-consumer material used in the past. It is even possible to install commercial-grade flooring made with recycled material that has minimal volatile organic compounds.
New eco-friendly flooring options made with renewable resources like cork and bamboo are also available. Bamboo is one of the most sustainable flooring products available.
How to Minimize Water Consumption
You can reduce your gym's water usage in a number of different ways. Add low-flow toilets to the entire building, from the locker rooms to employee bathrooms. It is even possible to install low-flow sink faucets and shower heads. These green options save upwards of 2.5 gallons of water each minute. Water pipes can be insulated to reduce energy costs.
Make your gym as green as possible my making use of an eco-friendly washing machines. The typical front-loaded washing machine uses significantly less water than the top-loaded variety. Opt for the former rather than the latter and you will save plenty of electricity to boot. The most eco-friendly gyms take the extra step by adding landscaping to the exterior of the facility that requires minimal or absolutely no watering.
Eco-friendly gyms offer some exercise equipment options that do not solely rely on electricity for operation. This does not mean you have to replace every single piece of exercise equipment in your facility. However, adding some purely mechanical exercise machines to your facility will reduce your utility bill, minimize your impact on the environment and help frame your business as a green facility.
These machines use gears, belts and additional physical components for operation. Some such machines harness energy from the actual operation to power components that are electrical. Certain machines like ellipticals, treadmills and exercise bikes can operate digital displays and even incline alterations with the energy created when in use.