Fitness Articles

Green Fitness Gear

Tread Lightly with Gear that's Good for the Earth

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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.
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About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

  • They make bamboo socks and they are so comfortable and tend to smell less! - 10/17/2014 7:06:22 PM
  • I use green when I can, a lot of advertising in this article. Edna - 4/25/2013 12:08:36 PM
  • Like EarthNut below, I choose green clothing by shopping at second-hand stores. I tell myself that everything is "one of a kind"! ;-D

    Other folks' failed New Year's resolutions can fuel my next Spark streak! - 4/22/2012 4:24:24 PM
  • I try to be green where I can be: I use reusable bags when grocery shopping, a reusable water bottle, I recycle, etc. It bothers me that a lot of companies like Lululemon don't carry sizes that I can wear. Part of me says, "You'll be able to start wearing them eventually and that will be a great accomplishment!" The other part wants nothing to do with them because I don't want to support a company who doesn't acknowledge that a person of a larger size can want/need fitness gear, too. I'm not sure if I'll be willing to pay more to shop at such a company when the time comes. - 4/22/2012 11:25:23 AM
  • Watch the fibers... sometimes the processing it takes to make things like bamboo fibers is more harmful to the planet than simple things like cotton or wool. - 5/23/2011 3:32:44 PM
  • Seriously? Reusable bags are TOO green? And I suppose driving two blocks to buy two bags of groceries is a good idea. After all, it supports the economy, too, to have to put gas in the car every week. Allow me to shake my head at an attitude like that.

    Fortunately, I think that price differences between eco-friendly and conventional (stupid convention, if you ask me, btw) stuff of all kind will begin to dissolve once eco-friendly becomes the norm. I already see this in Germany where the grocer's bill from the regular supermarket is really no less than from the bio (organic) store. Eventually, fitness products and clothing will go the same way, and that's definitely a good thing. - 5/23/2011 7:48:52 AM
  • The greenest gear is from the thrift shop (or garage sales, but those are more touch-and-go) - and it's a LOT cheaper too! You're reusing, supporting a local charity, and getting a great deal. So many used clothes are like new, just last season's models or something that was never worn. - 6/10/2010 1:14:40 AM
  • The reusuable water bottle and rechargeable batteries are totally great....but I draw the line at all the rest, in that I think we are getting too crazy in this society, with reusable bags, and every thing being green. DRIVES me nuts!

    I RECYCLE...I will continue to do so, all my mail, grocery receipts etc. etc. but I just cannot do any more at this point. I just want to remain sane!!!! - 9/25/2009 12:30:30 AM
  • We went the extra step to buy power cords for our Stationary Bike and our Elliptical. It's not perfect, but it is better than going through a set of batteries every few days.

    If you can't get past using batteries and your rechargeables have quit working, they too can be recycled, but you have to find someone willing to take them. - 9/20/2009 9:27:58 AM
  • Cool sites, if only I had $20 to spend on a pair of socks, $60 per tank top and nearly $100 per pair of pants (even more significant for the many of us on this site who are shrinking sizes). $100 on one pair of pants I hope to not fit in a few months? Wish I had that kind of money.

    As far as water bottles go, I recommend the new wave enviro stainless steel bottles (I like the large 1 liter bottle for less refilling, but also got a smaller .6 liter bottle that is similar in shape to the aluminum bottles that are very popular, and I like that one as well, though I use it for when I am out without a bag big enough to accommodate the others. And the clip on it allows me to hand it from my small purse rather than having to fit it in the purse..

    Oh, and they are cheaper than Klean Kanteen bottles. - 8/23/2009 5:14:57 PM
  • My idea of shopping GREEN: is called a RUMMAGE SALE in my areal.
    I also have a $2 reusable water bottle and another that I got free.
    I will use my beach towel for a yoga mat before I spend the prices advertised on the links.
    I checked out the web links and wouldn't shop at any of them. - 4/18/2009 1:36:32 PM
  • SIRIRADHA
    Very good article, but I'm going to have to slim down some more before I can shop for earth-friendly clothes! One of the sites has women's 12 as the largest size, and another only goes up to 16. - 4/18/2009 11:01:28 AM
  • I was thinking before I read this, i am not very 'green' at all. Then I discovered, things I have done for personal preference and ease are Green.

    3 Yrs ago, Santa brought me 2 Nalgene 32ox water bottles - use religiously
    5 Yrs ago, I discoved SmartWool stocks - aside from the cost, LOVE 'EM
    2 Yrs ago, Yoga mat: I bought a rubber one - again for comfort and ease for no green thoughts involved.
    4yeas ago - bought a Eureka tent - for car camping. We are thinking of getting a new one, but naturally thought of givings/selling ours to Wilderness Exchange not throwing it out.
    2.5 years ago - discovered Wilderness Exchange - where new and used equipment go to live a new life. My husband got some great 'GoLite' clothing for almost nothing. Saved us tons of money, more items not in a landfill, and they looked like they had never been worn.
    Utensils for camping: Lexan or Titanium - no disposable plastics.
    It was a revelation to both of us that we were actually being pretty green about things. Now that we are more aware - we will do even better.
    - 4/18/2009 7:15:34 AM
  • I was unaware of this BPA issue. I reuse a big blue plastic bottle everyday from Eddie Bauer (it was a freebie). Maybe I should reconsider... - 4/18/2009 1:11:29 AM
  • My old bottle is now holding nut and bolts in my garage/shed and I purchased 3 new BPA free bottles for the family! - 9/24/2008 12:41:26 AM
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