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Exercise mats. Ironically, the material used to make most yoga and Pilates mats on the market is PVC, one of the most toxic plastics, a known carcinogen and environmental toxin. There are some alternatives made of jute and natural rubber. You can find them online at GreenYoga.org, Gaiam.com, and BareFootYoga.com
Secondhand supplies. Treadmills, free-weights, exercise balls, steps… lots of supplies are required to outfit your home gym. Instead of buying new, check out gently used and secondhand items from freecycle.org, craigslist.org, second-hand stores, thrift shops, yard sales, and, of course, ebay. Chances are someone, somewhere, has exactly what you’re looking for. Besides saving the environment, you’ll also save your money. And when you’re finished with these second-hand items, remember to list them so they can continue their life in another loving home—not a landfill.
Rechargeable batteries. If you’re using batteries to power a portable CD player, check out a rechargeable battery system. The batteries will last for years of recharging. If you’re an iPod owner, consider investing in a solar charger (find a wide selection at EarthTechProducts.com)These eco-friendly chargers juice up your device with just the energy from the sun, and can be used to charge most portable electronic devices like PDAs and cell phones too.
While you might pay more upfront for greener workout gear, the benefits are long-lasting for not only yourself, but also the planet. So think about caring for your body and respecting your Mother Earth at the same time.