Sustainability is good business. Not only does it help protect the environment and potentially save you money, it’s the socially responsible thing to do, which is attractive to your clients. It’s a great way to show them that your fitness studio cares.
Eco-friendly gyms and studios have been opening all over the country. There are several different tactics they employ to make their operations run more smoothly and environmentally friendly, including:
- Solar power or even human power (via exercise machines) to run the machines, lights or stereo.
- Flooring materials like recycled rubber or bamboo.
- Energy-efficient lighting.
However, you don’t have to remodel your entire studio or install solar panels to go green at your gym. Here are a few ideas that are relatively easy to implement that will get your members excited to contribute to a healthier, happier planet.
Some cities don’t have great recycling programs, and it could be that some of your members don’t even know where to take their recyclables. Make it easy for them by setting up bins at your studio where they can leave their cans, glass bottles, plastics and paper, and you can arrange for it all to be sent to the recycling plant.
Partner with Sustainable Companies
Suga Mats, for example, are made using recycled wetsuits. Other companies, like Manduka, are committed to minimizing environmental waste. Stocking your studio with products that are long-lasting and made responsibly is one way to support the sustainable movement. Even though some of these products might be more expensive up front, you could save money in the long run because you won’t have to replace them as often.
Limit Paper Use
By using a software provider like Zen Planner, your members can sign contracts and waivers digitally. Not only does this save paper, but it makes it easier for you to stay organized.
Avoid Fans and Air Conditioning
Nothing’s worse than a hot, stuffy fitness studio, but you can explore the possibility of using natural airflow instead of fans when possible. By opening your doors and windows, you can take advantage of a cool, breezy day; an open front door can be more inviting to passersby, as well.
Use a Smart Thermostat
The Nest Learning Thermostat, for example, helps you regulate the temperature in your studio as efficiently as possible. Installation is as easy as removing your old thermostat and popping this one into place; then, simply use it for a week and it learns to set itself. Via your phone’s location, it knows when you’re not in the studio, and can set itself to the Eco Temperature. It also gives you an energy report so you can see when you’re using the most energy and how to save.
Unplug Technology When You’re Not Using It
Electronics draw power when they’re plugged in, even when they’re turned off. To save that energy, unplug your stereo, machines, chargers and computer when you leave for the night or even in between classes.
Offer Filtered Water
Even as of 2005, 40 million plastic water bottles end up in the trash every day. Instead of having one-time use bottles of water for sale, sell your own branded reusable bottles and offer unlimited filtered water for your members. For members who do buy a bottle, you’ll make a little more money and get some advertising out of the deal. Take the cost of the filtered water into consideration next time you increase membership fees and you’ll easily be able to cover it.
Use Efficient Lighting
LED bulbs, for example, use 20-25 percent of the energy as traditional incandescent bulbs, and they last 25 times as long. Other options include CFLs, which tend to pay for themselves in less than nine months, and halogen incandescents, which can be used with dimmers but are not as efficient as CFL or LED bulbs.
Choose Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Few businesses use as many cleaning products as fitness studios. From the bathrooms to the gym floor to every piece of equipment, cleanliness is key to health and a positive member experience. You can choose cleaning products without toxins and chemicals. Check out these lists on Good Housekeeping, Oprah and Real Simple for glass, floor, toilet and all-purpose cleaners you can try.
Going green is a process both members and studio owners can enjoy and take pride in. Start with one or two ideas, and keep adding to your eco-friendly game-plan as your studio evolves.
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.