Friday, January 23, 2009

Be Your Gym's Green Advocate

Making healthy a lifestyle is not only what you do to your body healthfully, but also how your body impacts the planet. If you have a gym membership, you can easily become a green advocate at your health club. Most green measures that apply to your home, including building products, are same principles. The only difference is that they are on a commercial, not residential, scale. Two health club chains, The Equinox Clubs, EquinoxFitness and pro basketball, former MVP, Steve Nash, SteveNashSportsClubs are making a phenomenal effort to “green” their health club facilities.

Equinox is embracing a green lifestyle by educating their members about how to live green too. For example according to Brian DeCato, General of Equinox Westwood, CA, they are placing signs for members to use fewer towels, use less cleaning products, and take shorter showers. They have strategically placed recycling reciprocals throughout the club to recycle. All Equinox staff are instructed how to teach these green friendly practices to their members.

A simple way to begin being a green advocate for your gym is to suggest to the club GM or owner that he schedule an appointment by the local electric and power company to make energy saving suggestions. Most electric and power companies offer this service for free. A good, “green pages” online source for information is Listed below are measures being implemented by both clubs for you to begin advocating.
  • Use bio-degradable cleaning products.
  • Use bio-degradable body wash, lotions, etc.
  • Use bio-degradable detergents for towels.
  • Offer recyclable sports/water bottles at the sports store, such as,, and
  • Use organic/bamboo towels.
  • Teach your members to be green by placing signs to remind clients to conserve water when showering, use fewer towels, and signs in the club that state every drop of water counts, and say use fewer towels. 
  • Teach the staff to reinforce the above green behavior.
  • Buy yoga mats, yoga blocks, stability balls, etc. from companies such as and, as they manufacture equipment from recycled or natural material.
If creating or upgrading
  • Install low flow shower heads.
  • Install low flow toilets.
  • Install automatic toilet flush systems, which save 1 gallon of water per flush.
  • Install energy efficient water heaters.
  • Install natural gas dryers for washer and dryers that are energy star efficient too.
  • Install energy efficient lighting.
  • Build yoga studios that have bamboo, sustainable wood floors.
  • Use recycled rubber for gym floors.
  • Strategically place recycling reciprocals that are ready presorted for glass, plastic, and paper.
  • Use only FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood.
  • Use formaldehyde free wood products.
  • Use High performance air filters and clean them regularly, which will save energy with air conditioning.
  • Install lighting control components and procedures to ensure lights are not on longer than absolutely necessary.
  • Install HCFC-free (Hydrochlorofluorecarbon) heat pumps.
These practices will significantly help “Green” your health club by increasing energy performance, improving water efficiency, conserving building resources, and improving the indoor quality of your gym. As Steve Nash puts it, “It’s about leaving a smaller carbon footprint by making the planet healthier too.”

*The new, Equinox Club on 17th Street in NYC has built a living wall, which is a wall of living vegetation that cleans the air and provides a natural sound barrier. It’s a wall of growing plants, which increases oxygen levels and decreases level of carbon dioxide. It’s a beautifully green, proactive way to offset the clubs oxygen levels.

For more great green workout and health articles join my free, Make Healthy A Lifestyle emagazine at

Blessings and abundance,


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