Green your Routine

As the new year kicks off, the gym is bustling with people. Perhaps you’ve made a new years resolution to shed a few pounds, stay healthy, train for a big event, or are just getting back into the swing of things. For those sweating off all the extra food consumed over the holiday season (don’t worry, I’m one of them), here are some simple tips to green your workout.

Use a resuable water bottle. This may seem pretty basic, but is worth mentioning. Using a stainless steel or plastic resuable bottle can cut down on your plastic waste, save you money, and keep you hydrated as you excerise.

Get some fresh air. Running, walking or biking outside is a great way to burn calories and save electricity needed for excerise machines. Nature trails or parks are also a nice way to enjoy the winter scenery. If the winter weather is too much too handle, also check out the University’s self powered machines (such as the incline treadmills).

Dress the part. Nike, Puma and Adidas have committed to zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020 thanks to pressure from Greenpeace. If you have old work out clothes hanging around, consider donating them to a local thrift store for others to enjoy.

Wash your towels less. Save water by reusing your towel a few times before throwing it in the wash, sweat towels do not need to be washed after one use- especially if you plan to shower afterwards.

Kudos to all those pushing their limits and reaching new goals this 2013. Try incorporating some (or all) of these eco-tips into your excersice routine to improve both your own health and the health of the environment.


One person’s trash is another’s treasure

Think before you toss your trash- is this something that could still be of use? Instead of having an old chair sitting in a landfill, doesn’t it make much more sense for it to sit in someone’s living room?

Stuff swaps are a great way to exchange items you no longer have use for with something you may be in need of. On campus, Guelph Student’s for Environmental Change manage the stuff swap located in the basement of the Food Bank. The basement holds lots of donated clothes, books, shoes, jewelry and miscellaneous items- free for all! Doesn’t get much better than that.

Another great way to put old items to use is A website that functions basically as a large online community stuff swap. Groups are formed by location and are open for all to add or take offerings of used items. This site is a great place to find all sorts of goodies from bedroom furniture to craft supplies. And did I mention it’s free?

If you’re not interested in trading goods, donating to second hand stores or charities is always a nice option. You can’t help but feel good knowing your well-loved sweaters are going to someone in need. If your well-loved sweaters are too worn to be reused, think if they can serve another purpose.

Upcycling is great for those who are creative and like to work with their hands. Maybe the fabric from the sweaters could be used to make a new blanket, or reusable bag. Just because something serves an original purpose, it is not limited to that one function.

Swaping old items, donating, and upcycling are easy ways to reduce waste and save money. It’s easy to focus solely on recycling (which don’t get me wrong, is great), but it is important to remember the other two R’s, reduce and reuse!