10 Frugally Green Workout Tips

By Linda LaRue, Intent

We all agree that we need to do a better job conserving our planet’s limited resources, but where do you begin? Here are 10 simple solutions that will help you get green into your workout routine without much effort at all. These eco-friendly changes are easy switches that will save you time and lots of money! How awesome and easy is that?

1. Curb your consumerism. Buy less active wear, expensive running shoes and/or fad, workout gizmos (that you know are NOT quick-fixes for proper exercise and diet). You’ll leave a smaller carbon footprint and leave more money in your wallet too.

2. Recycle your water/sports bottles. Buy a recyclable water bottle instead of plastic one-use water bottles. Recyclable water bottles will save you big bucks in the long run, as most designer waters are very expensive. Many individual 16-ounce designer waters that include minerals and vitamins are now over $2.00 a bottle. These outrageously overpriced waters are unnecessary, as you can obtain all your vitamins and minerals by eating a sensible diet along with taking a daily multivitamin. Did you know that according to the Container Recycling Institute only 23% of plastic bottles are recycled in the US? 38 billion plastic bottles go into landfills in the US each year. Plastic bottles take up to 1000 years to biodegrade. I recommend these two recyclable water bottle companies: Sigg and Klean Kanteen.

3. Use biodegradable body products. Buy biodegradable body wash and shampoo in bulk, which will save you money and decrease bottle use. Then, fill them into smaller, personal-use size reusable bottles. Most major discount retailers sell biodegradable body wash and shampoo in bulk and oftentimes run brand-name specials.

4. Join a neighborhood gym that’s within walking distance to where you work and/or live. You’ll be supporting the local economy and saving car gas emissions and costly parking fees.

5. If the weather is fine, walk outside it’s free. Did you know that out of all motorized pieces of fitness equipment, treadmills use the most energy?

Next: Tips 6-10

6. Use organic cotton and/or bamboo, or reclaimed fabric towels. Lots of discount retailers sell eco-friendly towels, such as organic cotton, bamboo, or organic cotton-bamboo blend. For example Bed, Bath, and Beyond a nationwide retail store, sells them for reasonable prices. They routinely offer 20% coupon specials, which make the towels even more affordable. And, bamboo towels are extremely soft, luxuriant, and absorbent.

7. Buy recycled and/or natural fitness products. Fitness product manufacturers such as Gaiam and Natural Fitness Inc., are beginning to manufacture products using recycled materials, especially rubber.

8. Choose eco-friendly organic and/or recycled active wear. Today, there seems to be an over abundance of green materials being made into clothing. Time will tell what materials consumers like best due to price, performance, look, and feel. LuLuLemon and Gaiam offer organic cotton and soy fiber blend, seaweed blend, and recycled polyester active wear for men and women that is form flattering, comfortable, and long-lasting. (I like LuLuLemon, because their clothes look and fit me best, and their retail stores are built eco-friendly too.) Brooks Sports makes a biodegradable athletic running shoe. Another frugally green idea is to shop your local, upscale thrift shops. The best days to find great clothes are Mondays and Tuesdays after folks have dropped off their clothing over the weekend. Thrift shops are hit and miss so you may need to visit them more than once.

9. If you upgrade your home gym, make it eco-friendly. You can easily incorporate all these planet friendly measures when creating your home gym.

10. Buy used workout DVDs, as it’s a great way to recycle and save money too. You can find great quality, popular used home workout DVDs for less than half price at Amazon.com, EBay.com, and Half.com.

Get More 30 Days to a Greener You Ideas

Linda LaRue is a registered nurse, an athletic trainer and the creater of The SOUPer Slim Diet and Crunchless Abs. Learn more at www.LindaLaRue.com.

Intent.com provides content and community for who you aspire to be–personally, socially and globally.


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Past Member 3 years ago

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Julian S.
Julian S5 years ago

nice ideas ;) :)

Inari T.
Inari T5 years ago

Some good advice, though I'm pretty sure that buying organic clothing, towels, etc would involve a fairly expensive initial outlay, even if one were to use them for years afterwards. I guess the way to go is to make these changes gradually, as opportunity arises and resources allow.

Elizabeth O.
Elizabeth O5 years ago

Useful tips.

Valerie A.
Valerie A5 years ago


Arild Warud
Arild G5 years ago


David N.
David N5 years ago

Thanks for the article.