Earthwise - Green Living

The Growth of Green Gyms in the U.S.


"Green fitness" Customers want a gym and exercise facility that’s part of their “green” lifestyle

The growth and adoption of green products by consumers in the U.S. continues to accelerate from driving hybrid cars to interest in alternative energy and natural foods to adopting of recycling and energy conservation as utility bills continue to climb.

Awareness of how companies could “green-up” their exercise facilities was first introduced by SportsArt Fitness with their “Green-o-vations” campaign in 2007 to raise awareness on improving the environmental friendliness of exercise facilities.

How-To Tips to Green A Gym or Club

It’s not that difficult to begin greening up a gym or exercise facility – and even modest, baby steps can be taken by any facility owner to phase in green improvements that will be of interest to their green-minded members and customers.

Gyms can also announce their green initiatives to their members through their websites, newsletter and blogs to let members know about their favorite gym going green. Signage about “going green” in the facility is also a good idea.

Here are some suggestions on how to green-up your facility:

GREEN EXERCISE EQUIPMENT

SportsArt Fitness has a new energy-producing Green System that joins an established line of eco-friendly fitness products. The launch of their ECO-POWRT treadmill five years ago offered club owners a treadmill that uses 32% less energy than a traditional club treadmill. And, SportsArt offers a line of completely self-generating ellipticals and cycles that require no outside power source to operate.

The new Green System includes a “pod” of fitness products attached to an inverter that harnesses human-generated power from exercisers – and feeds it back into the power grid as electricity. While people exercise on the equipment they are literally converting their exercise energy into electricity that is sent to the power grid.

The Green System is for health club owners who want to offset some of their electricity costs with human energy. The system will be sold in pods of up to eight products per inverter to gyms and health clubs.

LIGHTING

Replace all incandescent bulbs with fluorescent fixtures.

In rooms with adequate natural lighting, shut off regular lights during daylight hours.

Where possible, replace lights with skylights or SolaTubes. SolaTubes are inserted through the roof and provide remarkably bright daytime natural lighting in lieu of electric lights.

Tint or treat windows to reflect heat out (saves on A/C in warm climates)

FLOORING

Use recycled rubber for flooring in the weight room, also consider using 40″ squares rather than rolled flooring as it can allow less flooring to be used when a section needs replacing.

Use bamboo flooring in the cardio area – bamboo is considered eco-friendly due to its rapid growth rate and can be sustainably-harvested.

Consider sustainably-harvested hemp carpeting.

Use recycled, and recyclable, rugs or carpet for offices and reception area.

PAINTING

There are many excellent brands of paints in beautiful colors now available that are low VOC (volatile organic compounds) eliminating the outgassing of fumes.

LOCKER ROOMS

Install automatic dispensers since they regulate portion control and reduce waste.

Remove paper towels and add air hand dryers.

Install low-flow toilets and faucets, with automatic shut-off if possible.

Install motion detection lighting in the locker room/toilet area – during off-peak hours (when electricity is least expensive) this can save a lot on utility bills.

Install a recirculating hot water system. Even better, install a solar hot water heating system. Check with you local utility about local rebates and incentive programs. There are many that vary state to state.

Install low-flow showerheads.

Use recycled toilet paper.

Consider using gray water (which is recycled and collected water) for laundry and bathroom facilities and watering the landscaping.

CLEANING/GENERAL

Use environmentally friendly cleaning products that do not include toxic chemicals.

Use recycled paper towels.

Use green building materials when remodeling. This includes everything from beautiful tiling using recycled materials to FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified and sustainably harvested woods.

Use thermal pool blankets (if you have a pool amenity).

Choose natural landscaping that does not require much watering. Some government water districts will provide incentives to replant your landscaping with water-conserving plants.

Recycle all newspapers, magazines, plastics, batteries, etc.

HEATING/COOLING & ELECTRICITY

Upgrading to Energy Star rated HVAC equipment can cut energy bills by 10 to 20%.

Review the Environmental Protection Agency Green Power partner program – it lets you know where to turn if you want to buy electricity from renewable sources.

Install a solar electric (PV) system. There is a nation-wide Federal tax credit and many state-by-state rebate programs that vary by state and city. Check out your local energy conservation and solar rebate programs at: XXX.

Use green exercise equipment that converts usage of equipment into both powering the equipment as well as converting exercise equipment usage into electric fed back into the electric power grid.

RACQUET SPORTS

Use recycled rubber for tennis courts.

As the old saying goes, every little bit helps. Many of the initiatives listed here are easily implementable and low cost. Others may require more planning and/or budget commitment while others will actually save you money. The key is to get started – and let your members know about these green improvements to their favorite gym.

ORGANIC REFRESHMENTS AND BEVERAGES

If you provide coffee, tea or other beverages to your members, use any of the many organic beverages now on the market and readily available in bulk. It’s a small touch but all these elements used to green-up a gym will noticed by your customers – especially when you bring it to their attention through small signage in the facility and at the beverage location.

Going green and saving money on electricity bills

The new Green System joins an established line of eco-friendly fitness products offered by SportsArt Fitness. The launch of their ECO-POWRT treadmill five years ago offered club owners a treadmill that uses 32% less energy than a traditional club treadmill. Additionally, SportsArt offers a line of completely self-generating ellipticals and cycles that require no outside power source to operate.

“The combination of our ECO-POWRT treadmill motors and our Green System ellipticals and cycles will save facilities thousands in energy costs,” Ken Carpenter, Director of Sales for SportsArt Fitness said. “We welcome the entire industry to become more eco-conscience as we will continue to invest heavily into this crucial green initiative.”

Clubs and gyms can figure out, in advance, how much energy they can save with a Green Savings Calculator found at: http://green.sportsartamerica.com.

About SportsArt Fitness: SportsArt Fitness is an industry leader in the design and manufacture of high quality cardiovascular and strength equipment for home and commercial use. SportsArt retains control over every aspect of component design and the overall manufacturing process ensuring proper integration, maximum performance and longer product life. SportsArt Fitness holds TϋV and ISO 9001/9002 quality certifications and hundreds of worldwide patents for their innovations. For more information on the SportsArt Fitness brand visit: http://www.sportsartamerica.com.

 

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One Comment

  1. The idea of using human energy to cut down on electricity costs has been around for so long but I’ve never heard it actually make a significant difference. I agree that any improvement is good, but I question just how much is actually marketing not really “green” so to speak.

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