How green is your workout? OK, wait a minute. What kind of a question is that? What’s not environmentally friendly about moving your body?
When it comes to looking at the workout accessories that many of us use every day, there’s a lot of potential waste that we could be eliminating. By choosing alternatives like reusable water bottles, organic yoga mats, and compostable phone cases, you can put a significant dent in the amount of waste and emissions that your workout creates because, unfortunately, it’s probably not zero.
Without further ado, here are ten top ways you can upgrade your workout accessories to something leaner and greener.
1. Phone Case
Our phones are often a crucial part of our workout, whether for music or tracking miles and thus, so is a phone case. You’ve likely never thought about what happens to your phone case after you’re done with it. Usually, the answer is that it sticks around for a few hundred years on the earth. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. We now have access to compostable phone cases that break down completely after disposal. Even accessories like AirPods cases are now available in eco-friendly compostable versions, so consider alternatives to the plastic life if you’re in the market for a replacement.
2. Yoga Mat
Standard yoga mats are often full of nasty non-recyclable plastics like PVC that might negatively affect health. Instead, opt for a cork yoga mat. Good cork yoga mats aren’t just eco-friendly. Cork also has antimicrobial properties, which can help prevent your yoga mat from getting funky or growing dangerous bacteria colonies. Some people also report that cork mats are less slippery than plastic ones, particularly if you’re doing sweat-drenched hot yoga.
3. Water Bottle
It’s time to forget disposable plastic water bottles forever. Instead, pick up one of the many awesome reusable water bottles made from stainless steel, glass, or BPA-free plastic. Your water will taste better, and you’ll be doing your part to reduce one of the worst sources of plastic waste and pollution. If you want to add some tasty flavors to your hydration, try an infuser bottle, making it easy to infuse fruit and herbs into your water!
4. Gym Bag
A high-quality gym bag made from sustainable materials is an excellent investment for your green fitness lifestyle. Look for a bag produced with organic or fair-trade materials, as well as carbon neutral manufacturing processes. Many companies that sell sustainable gym bags also produce in ways to support good causes, such as planting trees for every bag sold or giving a portion of profits to charity.
5. Watch Band
If you’re using cheap plastic watch bands for your Fitbit or Apple Watch, remember that those eventually get put in the ground, too! Instead, take a look at some of the models of Apple watch bands and Fitbit bands made from compostable and biodegradable materials. It’s this kind of small-scale awareness that helps people meaningfully lower their carbon footprint by making a lot of minor changes that add up together.
6. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands offer an amazing way to reduce the amount of workout equipment you need. These durable rubber straps are an ideal choice because they provide tons of exercise options for anyone who just wants to get a great workout without investing in a bunch of gear that they may not use consistently. Pro tip: Get a set that includes a door attachment and you can replace even more workout gear.
7. Non-Foam Roller
Foam rollers are a great way to work out, but they seem to almost always be made out of non-biodegradable plastics. Don’t worry — cork to the rescue again! Cork body rollers work just as well as foam ones do, and they’re completely biodegradable. Best of all, they’re not even that expensive. Most cork body rollers cost around the same as foam ones.
8. Running Shoes
Looking for a greener pair of running shoes? You’re in luck — there are tons of different companies offering more eco-conscious takes on classic runner designs. Materials run the gamut from organic wool to recycled rubber and beyond. There’s more than enough diversity of styles to fit every taste and foot shape. Don’t forget to pick up a few pairs of comfy organic running socks while you’re at it.
9. Adjustable Dumbbell Set
Why use up all of the resources (and storage space) required for a full set of fixed dumbbells when you can usually get comparable results from an adjustable one? An all-in-one dumbbell set is a compact and efficient alternative to a fixed set, and it represents another step you can take toward reducing your consumption and the amount of stuff you own. Also, just saying: Have you ever tried to move to a new home with a complete dumbbell set?
10. Energy Generating Treadmill
If you have a little more to spend, and you want something that’ll make you feel like Elon Musk, allow us to introduce you to the energy-generating treadmill. These incredible devices direct the kinetic energy generated by your workout into your home’s power grid and powering the device itself. If you’re really serious about cutting your workout’s carbon footprint, and you’re not afraid of a little technical work to get it set up, it’s an excellent investment for sustainability and self-sufficiency.
As a final thought, don’t be in too much of a hurry to throw out all of your old gear and buy new eco-friendly models. You don’t want to throw out good equipment in the name of reducing waste! Instead, when it’s the right time to pick up some new accessories, consider these green alternatives.