Even the greenest of us might find that keeping up with different green habits can fall by the wayside. Exercise can be one of those things. You may drive to the gym, throw your used sneakers in the trash, or drink Gatorade out of disposable plastic bottles. Here are some ideas to make your exercise a little bit more eco-friendly.
- Go low tech. Walk, bike, or run outside instead of on the treadmill. Go kayaking in the summer or snowshoeing in the winter. Save the electronic exercise equipment for days with really inclement weather.
- Walk, bike, or run in your own neighborhood. Sometimes it's tempting to go for a jog elsewhere for a change of scenery but it will lower your carbon footprint to stay in your neighborhood.
- Choose your gym wisely. Look for one walking distance, bus-accessible, or otherwise close to your home.
- Make your exercise productive by incorporating errands. Walk to the grocery store to get that loaf of bread so you don't have to drive there later. When I go for a jog with my son in the jogging stroller, I take advantage of the basket in the stroller by doing a small grocery shopping mid-jog.
- Recycle your running sneakers once they're too old to use. Nike Reuse-A-Shoe has drop off locations and mailing addresses in the U.S. and Belgium. Runner's World has a list of other options.
- When your running socks are worn and holey, find different ways to reuse socks.
- Keep hydrated with reusable water bottles! If you like sports drinks like Gatorade, consider making homemade sports drinks and putting it in a reusable water bottle. Here are a few recipes.
- Look for eco-friendly (or eco-friendlier) sneakers. A popular option is the Brooks Trance 8.
- Also look for eco-friendly exercise clothes.
- Wash your sweaty workout clothes in cold water and line dry.
- If you like energy bars, make your own instead of buying individually wrapped ones.
- Use eco-friendly sunscreens and bug sprays.
- This goes without saying, but sometimes people need a reminder...don't litter while you're exercising! (Or better yet...take some time to pick litter up during a cool down)
*This was originally posted on Keen For Green on 7/29/11