Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repetition
How to Make Waste Reduction Your Swole Mate
Summer is here and your BMI is having you scream “OMG!” It’s OK. Take some time to cool down and recover before we pump you up! With these eco-fitness tips, you can cut your waste size and get your waist cut just in time for bathing suit season. So instead of saying “extra fries,” you’ll be saying “exercise!”
Water You Waiting For?
You don’t already have a refillable water bottle? Drop and give me 700! That’s how many years it takes for a single-use plastic bottle to decompose. And since everyone needs to stay hydrated regardless of their workout routine, now would be the time to get your hands on a refillable water bottle. Whether you prefer plastic, glass, or metal is up to you—the main point is to reuse it and refill it so you won’t need to discard a single-use plastic bottle that could take up space in landfills for centuries to come.
Try-cep Before You Buy-cep
Textiles are among the 10 most prevalent materials in California’s waste stream, so before you run out and buy brand-new active wear, try dusting off the Richard Simmons shorts you have scrunched in the back of your dresser and sweat to the oldies. You don’t necessarily need to buy new workout clothes—you’re just going to get them all sweaty anyway. But if you absolutely must look the fitness part, see if any of your friends or family members have active wear they are willing to give away, or check out your local thrift shop. Another option is to purchase workout wear from sustainable companies.
These Shoes Are Made for Running
It’s inevitable—your shoes will need replacing at some point, but to keep them in shape, make sure to air them out to reduce bacteria and fungus growth. Also, use baking soda to fight off odor and moisture. Then, once your sneakers have seen their last mile, donate them. Some companies recycle old shoes into athletic surfaces like tracks, fields, and courts. If they are gently used, donate them to your local nonprofit thrift shop.
Running Late: The Old Cardio
It goes without saying that walking, biking, or running to work will reduce your carbon footprint, but it also holds health benefits for you. If you live nearby, getting to work using your own energy is a great option, but for those of you who live wheelie far away, consider driving part of the way and biking, running, or walking the rest. You’ll still be getting in that extra cardio without having to complete a triathlon. (Make sure to leave yourself time so you’re not late to work!)
Weight Just a Second
Gyms can be intimidating with all the weights, equipment, and people, so stay home and use what you’ve got instead. Rather than spend money on a gym membership and fancy new equipment, raid your garage, kitchen cabinets, and closets for a few everyday items that can be repurposed. Cans, water bottles, and backpacks can be used in place of weights. Heavy books are perfect for weighted planks and oblique twists. Ropes or chains are excellent for battle rope-style exercises, and crates are great for step-ups or box jumps.
Into Fitness? Yeah, Fitness Pizza in My Mouth!
They say getting results from your workout is 20 percent exercise and 80 percent diet, so it’s important to reduce your junk food intake and improve your clean-eating habits. There’s no better way to do that than to grow food using your own garden or shop the farmers market. Either option will get your diet jump-started, reduce waste, and decrease travel (emissions). Besides, that greasy pizza box, while compostable, is not recyclable, not to mention all that junk food comes in packaging that ends up in the trash. Produce comes in its own natural package.
Reduce, reuse, recycle, repeat. Reducing your waste and impact on the environment is a lot like working out. Repetition and consistency really make a difference. So keep at it, you’ll get there—it just takes a little conditioning, focus, and flexibility. Oh, and don’t skip leg day.