Look across at some of the top names in pro sports – Usain Bolt, Kelly Slater, Andrew Ference. Many are as dedicated to preserving the environment as they are to honing their craft. Even entire organizations such as the Philadelphia Eagles are aligning themselves with the green movement by generating their stadium’s electric supply from on-site solar panels and wind turbines. If the professionals can make time for the environment, can’t the gym rats, joggers and pickup all-stars do it, too?
There’s no need for a major overhaul (don’t worry – you won’t have to interrupt your customary pregame routine). Just start with the little things. For example, how are you keeping hydrated? Bottled water is convenient when you’re on the go, there’s no doubt about it. But store-bought bottles end up generating a lot of unnecessary waste – there’s no doubt about that, either. With national recycling rates lower than they should be, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that these bottles pile up in our landfills, withering, burning and releasing some of plastic’s less flattering byproducts into our environment.
The simple solution – need I even say it? – is to start filling up your own reusable water bottles. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; buy something cheap or dig up that 12-ounce giveaway flask from your last 5K. Just get in the habit of refilling it every time you hit the gym or head out for a run. It’s one of the easiest ways to keep fit and stay green at the same time. An even better choice – a BPA-free or stainless-steel bottle made from healthy and long-lasting materials.
If you’re looking to take a more proactive role as an eco-friendly athlete, be a team player and start picking up where your teammates left off. Some organizations have been known to do trash runs – lengthy jogs around local neighborhoods with gloves and garbage bags in tow. See if you can organize a trash run in your area.
If street cleaning isn’t so much your style, at least make sure you’re running in an eco-friendly wardrobe. Look for shirts and shorts made of recycled material and don’t overbuy. In fact, you probably don’t even want more than a few designated workout T-shirts. Pain is only temporary, but pit stains are forever.