Here at mbg, we're always looking for simple ways to be more mindful in our daily lives. In the same way that we strive to respect our bodies (because, fact: we only have one in this life), we seek to pay the same respect to our Mother Earth. In honor of Earth Day this month, we're asking: How can we strive to improve the earth while we improve ourselves?
We put our heads together and as it turns out, there are plenty of opportunities to be a friend to our Mother while we get our sweat on. Here are some of the practices we've put into place to "green" our fitness routines:
1. Become a minimalist with your fitness gear.
One of the leading causes of stress to the earth today is the clothing manufacturing process. Especially with your fitness gear: Instead of buying new clothes every season, invest in eco-friendly brands or pieces you know will hold up for more than a few months. You can take it a step further by developing a capsule fitness wardrobe for the warmer and cooler seasons, adding to it only as each piece needs replacing.
2. Repurpose old "regular" clothes into cute fitness garb.
Have old T-shirts you used to love? Try repurposing them into new fitness tops! With fabric scissors, cut a triangle out of the back for an open-back shape, cut larger arm holes for an airy summertime tank, or crop the bottom for a freeing yoga tee vibe.
3. Use a BPA-free plastic, metal, or glass water bottle in lieu of buying a disposable plastic one.
We're all guilty of this, but just a minute or two of planning could save hundreds of plastic bottles from entering landfills each year...depending on how much you work out.
4. Keep digital records.
If you keep a food or fitness diary, consider switching to an app or using the notes section on your phone. The MINDBODY app keeps all your favorite classes in one place for easy access, plus it can connect with your Fitbit to track progress.
If you insist on keeping an analog notebook, find one that's recycled. We love Decomposition books, which are made from 100 percent post-consumer-waste recycled paper that's processed without chlorine and is printed with soy ink, which allows it to be recycled again.
5. Wash your sweaty clothes (and your regular ones) with eco-friendly detergent.
Thanks to new technology and product development, there are now several different eco-friendly detergent brands to choose from with a wide range of scents, too. Plus, we'll admit it: Every now and then we'll wear a top twice if it didn't get too sweaty during the first wear (like in a yoga class)—that saves water, energy, and detergent, too.
6. Walk, run, or bike to your workout class instead of driving (or cabbing).
If you're in the city, don't cab it! Taking the subway or metro naturally reduces your carbon footprint big time. And if you normally drive to your workout class, see if you can walk, run, or bike instead. If that's not an option, carpool with your fellow fitness friends.
7. Use a recycled yoga mat.
It sounds so basic, but using yoga mats made from recycled materials is hugely helpful to the earth. Some of our favorite studios use Jade mats made of recycled rubber, but there are many others too. Suga, for example, makes yoga mats from recycled wetsuits! Looks like it's time to find a yoga class near you on the MINDBODY app to show off your new eco-friendly mat.
8. Opt for reusable towels in place of wipes.
Whether you're washing your face, wiping down your treadmill, or cleaning your yoga mat—use a towel instead of disposable wipe. Think of how much less trash we'd create if everyone did this, even for a day.
When it comes to being green, the truth is that we are more powerful than we think. Day to day it can feel like the small acts you do don't make a difference, so why bother, but the reality is that big change comes from small actions. We have a long way to go, but we're hopeful about this green routine! Try to incorporate at least four of these tips into your fitness routine, and we promise your next yoga, CrossFit, or barre class will feel that much sweeter.