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Burning Calories while Saving Energy

Culture | Posted on August 30, 2011 by Michael Di Fonzo

There are several ways to save energy that we can incorporate into many facets of our everyday lives, some of which more obvious than others.  Whether it’s something as simple as turning off a light when it’s not needed, or carpooling to work, the opportunity is always there to make our lives just a little bit greener. 

 Working at the Softchoice Head Office in Toronto, employees have the ability to take advantage of the Softchoice gym, an opportunity that many take advantage of.  Unlimited and free access to an employee gym is a great perk to have.  Not only does it give one the convenience to hit the weights or elliptical whenever you choose, but it also demonstrates that your company is promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.  Health is important…so is the environment. Regular exercise is one of these facets in our everyday lives that we can make just a little bit greener with a few easily-developed habits. 

 One of the easiest changes to make is to simply stop buying packs of bottled water for your workout.  Save your money!  Why create more plastic waste?  Over 60 million plastic water bottles are disposed improperly everyday.  Now, I’m not saying that you should stop drinking water while you exercise, staying hydrated is important.  But next time you go to the gym, bring a re-usable water bottle.  Not only is it better for the environment, but I think you will find it more convenient as well. 

 Treadmill?  Who needs a treadmill?  Weather permitting; try taking your cardio outside.  You don’t need to use a treadmill or any other machine that consumes energy to burn calories.  Burn those calories while saving energy and staying green.  Walk, run, jog, bike, rollerblade, or play some outdoor sports.  During the summer months, some of us in the Toronto office would go play basketball at a park nearby.  Outdoor sports with co-workers are a great way to sweat off some calories, build relationships, and catch some sun.  I think it’s also a bit more entertaining than watching the calorie counter slowly increasing on that treadmill.  Greener too!  Treadmills use up a lot of electricity so, if you can’t make it outdoors, opt for the elliptical or stationary bike instead.

 After a good sweat, you are probably pretty likely to take a shower.  You’ll need to get dry after that shower, and odds are you will use a towel.  A good way to save water is to wash your towels less.  Reuse that towel another time or two before you decide to toss it in the washing machine.  You’ll be clean when you use it anyways, so really, what’s the harm?  As well, if you use a towel to wipe off sweat during a workout, use that towel a few more times before you decide to wash it.  Chances are you will shower after your workout anyways, right?  So again, what’s the harm?

 Old workout clothes: Do you have any?  If you do, don’t stash them at the bottom of a cob-webbed filled drawer knowing they will never see the light of day again.  Donate them.  There are several organizations such as Salvation Army and Goodwill that accept these donations.  Reusing these clothing items is definitely a help to the environment, not to mention those less-fortunate who can benefit from these donations.

 Finally, if you work somewhere that has an employee gym, use it.  Not only is it convenient, and accessible, but since your already at the office anyways, why waste the time, energy, and fuel commuting to another gym that may be further away?  

 If you have any tips or ideas on how your gym can be greener, share them.  No idea is too little or insignificant as it’s the little things that can add up to big change.

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