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What is a Green Gym?

By Lauren Romano
Updated Jan 24, 2024
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A green gym is a health club that focuses on running an environmentally conscious business in order to be more eco-friendly. From using chemical-free cleaning products to having recycled exercise equipment, the gym may make the appropriate environmental choices and possibly work toward being certified by LEED.

A green gym does a lot of cleaning for sanitary and aesthetic purposes, so a big part of being more green is having eco-friendly cleansers. Not only do they have a non-chemical smell but they also aren't made up of the harsh chemicals like many other cleaners. The gym may also use recycled paper items, such as recycled toilet paper, paper towels and tissues.

Considering the amount of electricity a gym uses, a green gym may have solar panels to help harness the sun's energy as well as reduce the electricity bill. Another option is for gym goers to supply energy that goes back to the gym. When gym goers use certain machines, such as the bikes, the energy generated goes back into the gym's grid.

A green gym will also focus on using as little water as possible. One option is to use an energy-efficient washer and dryer for any laundry. Another option is to use low-flow shower heads in the showers to reduce the amount of water used. Energy-efficient toilets in the bathroom are also options for reducing water use.

Part of becoming a green gym is using recycled exercise equipment. For example, it may purchase exercise equipment made from recycled metal instead of buying standard equipment. It may also have the exercise floor made from recycled rubber. Even the yoga mats will most likely be made from recycled materials.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and operates under the U.S. Green Building Council, provides certification to those who meet the requirements and hope to have a more green business. It also helps existing structures through the LEED for Existing Buildings: O&M certification process, which helps buildings use fewer resources and make long-standing, environmentally conscious changes.

Before long, more gyms may find themselves shifting toward eco-friendly practices, even if it involves small changes. Some people may prefer going to a gym that has eco-friendly practices. Being labeled as a green gym may not only be great for the environment and for saving money but can also help bring in new clientele who find that type of business appealing.

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Discussion Comments
By anon334417 — On May 12, 2013

More gyms need to be chemical-free and fragrance-free for those with asthma or other sensitivities so we can all work out! I don't think all recycled materials are healthy per se, but I do think we need to cut down on air-fresheners, spray deodorants and plug-ins - they are horrible for everyone and cancer-causing. It's not good to work out around those things. Hopefully the "green gym" trend continues. I have yet to see one where I am.

By ZsaZsa56 — On Jan 07, 2012

I admire gyms that try to go green, but I think this is really more of a gimmick than a genuine effort to save the environment. The reality is that gyms are not horribly bad for the environment, and the biggest areas that they pollute can't easily be changed.

Put any concerns about electricity usauge, water consumption and chemical cleaners out of your mind. The worst part of a gym is that it is an appealing place that invites lots of people to commute to it on a regular basis. The dirtiest thing about a gym is all the cars that people use to drive to them. But how do you fix a problem like this without setting up gyms in everyone's basements?

By gravois — On Jan 06, 2012

I go to a gym that likes to advertise its green credentials. Right now they are trying to put into place a system where all the people using treadmills, bikes and elliptical would generate the power that the gym runs on.

I think this is a great idea. Why not take all that wasted energy and put it to good use? People are trying to burn calories, we might as well use them to keep the lights on.

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