Running with #31DaysofGreen

In January, we launched our second annual #31DaysofGreen campaign, where we asked you to share your best eco-friendly ideas on Twitter. We learned a lot from your tweets and are inspired to be even greener in all that we do.

For me, it sparked some thought about how to “green” my fitness routine, something that’s really important to me.

I schedule a workout five times per week to help maintain my health and reach my peak performance; fitness is an integral part of my life and leadership philosophy. It may be hard to imagine that the way we exercise impacts the environment, but it does.

Here are my top three #31DaysofGreen tips for making your workouts more eco-friendly:

  1. Donate your sneakers. As an avid runner I go through a lot of shoes, often changing sneakers twice a year. Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe offers a great program that recycles athletic shoes into surfaces for tracks, playgrounds, and outdoor courts. To participate, just drop your old shoes off at your local Nike store.

If your shoes are only gently used, consider donating them to organizations like Soles4Souls to ‘pair it forward’ and help those in need.

  1. Take it outside whenever you can. Home and gym exercise machines consume a lot of energy, while hiking and biking trails don’t need electricity to run, are free to use and make your workouts different each time – due to varying terrain and weather conditions. Better yet, make it a family affair. I like going on seasonal outdoor adventures with my kids, whether it’s downhill skiing, white water rafting, or simply hiking the beautiful mountain trails of Alberta. Visit the Trans Canada Trail website to find hiking trails near you.

  1. Choose organic cotton and bamboo threads for sweat-friendly green fabrics. While purchasing eco-friendly clothing is the first thing that springs to mind, consider greening your other fitness equipment like towels and yoga mats as well. Towels made from bamboo or organic cotton don’t require the use of harmful pesticides and are made from sustainable fibres. Companies like Gaiam and Natural Fitness Inc are practicing innovative manufacturing techniques that utilize recycled rubber and materials to produce workout goods.

The variety of tips we received shows that no matter your passion – running or otherwise – there are always things you can do to be greener. Here are the top five tips that you told us you like best:

Thanks to everyone who participated. If you missed this campaign or didn’t get a chance to participate, it’s not too late. Let us know what your favourite green tip is by leaving a comment.