Ways to protect the planet while getting fit
by Freya • 7 minutes read
Last updated: 29 Jun, 2022
Wanting to be greener can be a little daunting, but there are a range of different ways you can help protect the planet.
There are so many opportunities to make your fitness journey more sustainable, you can easily implement ways to make your workouts more environmentally friendly whether they are big or small.
This article will give you some ideas on how to make your current workouts more eco-friendly. If you are looking for sustainable ways to exercise, you can find lots of examples here.
Wear sustainable activewear
Most activewear is made from polyester, which is in a sense a plastic cloth, although it is durable it is far from sustainable. It is not biodegradable and is likely to shed toxic microfibres.
Factories that produce polyester without a wastewater treatment system can release dangerous substances including antimony, cobalt, manganese salts, sodium bromide, and titanium dioxide into the environment.
Changing the brand of clothing you wear can be a simple trick to bring your carbon footprint down.
Tip: if you will be throwing your old gym clothes away, ensure you take them to a charity shop or resell them so they don’t end up on a landfill.
TALA is one of the leading sustainable activewear companies, their items are sustainably and ethically produced, while not letting you down, flatters you, and does cost you everything but the kitchen sink.
They use a range of different fabrics/companies to ensure their products are sustainable, including,
Q-NOVA: regenerated waste materials
Recover: uses textile waste as a raw material resource
Lyocell: environmentally friendly fibre made from wood pulp
Bamboo: a temperature controlling and moisture wicking fibre, that takes up just 10% the amount of land as cotton to produce the same yield
Cotton: TALA use a combination of recycled cotton and organic cotton
Viscose: a semi-synthetic fibre that's made from trees
TENCEL Modal: wood-based fibres derived from sustainably sourced, naturally grown beech wood.
Girlfriend Collective is an eco-friendly clothing brand that puts sustainability at the top of their priorities.
Their clothes are made from recycled materials, including previously used water bottles, fishing nets retrieved from the seas, fabric scraps, and other waste.
Their packaging is also 100% recycled and recyclable.
Another great thing about this brand is that they test their compressive leggings on over 100 women to make sure it is perfect for all shapes and sizes to feel their best and comfortable.
Pangaia is a materials science company that is doing what they can to save the environment, they create clothing from innovative tech and bi-engineered materials for men, women and children.
They use a range of different materials for their clothing, including their activewear. They use the following:
Recycled wool and cashmere
They also use a compostable packaging so that it is biodegradable and not sitting on a landfill site for years to come.
Use eco-friendly gym equipment
If you workout from home, using eco-friendly gym equipment can be a great help for the planet, or perhaps you own a gym and are looking at how to make it more environmentally conscious. Instead of using plastic products, you can find eco-friendly alternatives.
Yogamatters is a company that makes yoga products accessible to all, they have a eco yoga mat section where you can find a range of environmentally positive yoga mats, including ones made out of cork, organic cotton, EVA Foam and algae, and so many more materials!
Ok, this may be a bit out of your price range but it’s cool!
WaterRower offers eco-friendly gym equipment alternatives including, dumbbells, indoor bikes, rowing machines, benches and so much more.
Some of their machines use the power of water to provide a smooth and even resistance, this is used mainly in their water rowers.
Their bikes and treadmills are powered by you, meaning there is no need to plug them in, the speed depends on the user.
They come at a hefty price but if you can afford it, it would be an earth positive investment and most definitely a great workout.
WEARTH is an eco-friendly website that specialises in eco-friendly and zero waste products.
They are partnered with 250 independent UK brands that create eco-friendly and ethical products.
Their aim is to make it easier for you to find these sustainable products, including zero waste water bottles that are perfect for the gym, run, home workout, whatever exercise you might be doing!
Skipping plastic bottles and using an environmentally friendly bottle is another way you can make your fitness journey more sustainable. It may be a small change in your eyes, but the more people make more ethical and eco choices, the more the earth benefits.
Take the stairs
If you ever come across the dilemma on whether to take the stairs or the lift, always take the stairs!
Taking the stairs is more sustainable for the planet as it will reduce your carbon footprint and you will burn more calories.
Walk or cycle
Again, another way of reducing your carbon footprint, walking or cycling to your destination i.e. to the gym or work, can be a huge environmental benefit, choosing one of these alternatives to driving is one of the most effective things you could.
You will also burn extra calories while benefiting from the fresh air, as research has shown fresh air can be helpful for mental health issues including depression and anxiety.
- Fibre Briefing: Polyester - https://www.commonobjective.co/article/fibre-briefing-polyester#:~:text=Factories%20producing%20polyester%20without%20wastewater,not%20biodegrade%20like%20natural%20fibres.
- Why, Exactly, Is Polyester So Bad for the Environment? - https://ecocult.com/exactly-polyester-bad-environment/
- A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning fashion’s future - https://ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/a-new-textiles-economy
- TALA - https://www.wearetala.com/pages/tala-sustainability
- Girlfriend Collective - https://girlfriend.com/pages/about-girlfriend
- PANGAIA - https://pangaia.com/pages/about-us
- Harnessing the Four Elements for Mental Health - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6491965/
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