The demand for sustainability is greater than ever. In their 2022 survey, the IBM Institute for Business Value found that over half (51%) of respondents say “environmental sustainability is more important to them today than it was 12 months ago.” Many are even willing to pay a premium to support environmentally friendly brands.  

Consumers around the world are seeking out eco-friendly brands more than ever, and the fitness industry is no exception. Embracing sustainability in your gym will help you align with your members’ values and keep your business thriving 

The search for sustainable fitness options has led to the development of eco-friendly gyms and studios. There are several different tactics they employ to make their operations run smoothly and sustainably, including: 

  • Using solar power (or even human power) to run their machines, lights and stereos 
  • Illuminating their studios with energy-efficient lighting 
  • Installing flooring made from recycled rubber or bamboo 

These are all exciting ways to make your gym more sustainable, but you don’t have to remodel your studio to go green. Here are a few easy ways to make your gym more eco-friendly and get your members excited to contribute to a healthier, happier planet.  

Go Paperless  

Less waste will always equal more sustainability. You can use management software to let your members sign contracts and waivers digitally. Not only does this save paper, but it makes it easier for you to stay organized.  

Unplug Your Tech 

If your electronics are plugged in, chances are they’re using power even when they’re turned off. “Vampire Power”, or standby power, accounts for 5-10% of the total electricity in residential homes, and it can impact your studio too.  

To save that energy, unplug your electronics when you leave for the night, or even between classes.  

Embrace Natural Airflow 

Nothing’s worse than a hot, stuffy fitness studio, but the energy your fans and air conditioners use adds up. Explore your options for using natural airflow to reduce your energy use. By opening doors and windows, you can take advantage of a cool, breezy day. An open front door can be more inviting to passersby as well. 

Swap Out Your Bulbs 

LED bulbs use 20-25% of the energy that traditional incandescent bulbs do, and they last 25 times as long. CFLs are another great option, and they tend to pay for themselves in less than nine months. Although not quite as efficient as LED or CFL bulbs, halogen incandescents can also help you save energy when used with dimmers. 

Use a Smart Thermostat 

You can manage your energy use by regulating the temperature of your studio. Smart thermostats like the Nest Learning Thermostat help you manage your temperature as efficiently as possible. 

A smart thermostat learns to set itself as you use it. Using your phone’s location, it can set itself to the Eco Temperature when you’re not in the studio. It also gives you an energy report to show you when you’re using the most power and how to save energy.  

Choose Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products 

Few businesses use as many cleaning products as fitness studios. From the bathrooms to the gym floor and equipment, cleanliness is the key to creating a healthy and positive member experience. 

Choosing cleaning products without toxins and chemicals can help keep the environment – and your members – safe and healthy. Check out these lists on Good Housekeeping, Oprah and Real Simple for glass, floor, toilet and all-purpose cleaners you can try.  

Partner with Sustainable Companies 

Stocking your studio with products that are long-lasting and made responsibly is a great way to support sustainability. By using yoga mats made from recycled wetsuits and supporting companies that minimize environmental waste, you can stock your studio with environmentally kind products.  

Even though some of these products may be more expensive up front, their long lifespans will save you money in the long run. 

Support Recycling 

Some cities don’t have easily visible recycling programs, making it difficult for your members to know where to drop off their recyclables. Make it easy for them by setting up recycling bins in your studio. You can collect their recyclables – cans, glass bottles, plastics and papers – and send them to the recycling plant to encourage involvement. 

Ditch the Disposable Bottles 

Americans purchase about 50 billion water bottles per year, and roughly 91% of plastic is not recycled. Instead of selling one-time use water bottles, sell your own brand of reusable bottles to reduce waste. As members carry your bottles around with them, they’ll also be advertising your studio.  

Going green is a process both members and studio owners can take pride in. Start with one or two ideas, and keep adding to your game plan as your studio evolves. 

Creating an environmentally friendly gym is just one of the ways you can upgrade your gym management. Looking for other ways to take your gym to the next level? Zen Planner is here to help. 

We pride ourselves on catering our proven gym management and billing solutions to the particular needs of your gym. Reach out today and book a live demo to see everything Zen Planner has to offer!  

Article originally published January 2018 and updated June 2022. 


Marketing yourself as an eco-friendly fitness studio can help differentiate you from your competitors. Looking for adding ways to make your business stand out? Get your free copy of our 10-Step Marketing Guide for Gyms.

gym marketing tips