By Marianne Magno
You carry your own water bottle, use a reusable shopping bag, and sort your recyclables from the trash. Here, easy ways to green your fitness routine without thinking about it.
Look for eco-friendly companies when shopping for workout clothes and gear. Gaiam, Patagonia, and GoLite are just a few of the companies that use organic fibers in their clothing and accessories. Green your yoga session by investing in a mat made from sustainable ingredients, like Manduka's eKO Mat.
Reuse Old Fitness Gear
If you've downward dogged your yoga mat into tatters or have equipment from your days of being in the neighborhood soccer league, blow off the dust bunnies for a cause. Bring new life to your old gear through these programs:
Recycle Your Mat: Send your old mat (or drop it off at a participating location) and this company will work with other organizations to find creative new uses for it. Visit recycleyourmat.com for more information.
Sports Gift: Organize a collection in your neighborhood, school, or office for old gear, like soccer balls, tennis racquets, and athletic shoes, and this nonprofit will ship them to underprivileged children worldwide so they can enjoy sports too. Visit sportsgift.org for more information.
Reuse-a-Shoe: Donate worn sneakers to Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program and they'll turn your pair into material for playgrounds and other Nike products. Find a drop-off location or start your own shoe drive at Nikereuseashoe.com. Visit nikereuseashoe.com for more information.
Related: The FITNESS 2012 Sneaker Guide
Learn to Share
Hopping on a bike instead of getting in the car is always a good option, but if you don't have your own set of wheels, community bike sharing programs are your earth- and wallet-friendly solution. In a bike share, riders can rent a bike at one location and drop it off at another for a monthly fee. Bike shares have been popular in Europe and are now popping up in cities like Washington D.C., Boston, Denver, and soon to be in New York City.
Related: 25 Fat-Melting Cardio Plans
Turn Your Sweat into Energy
You aim to burn hundreds of calories by hopping on the spin bike or elliptical, but did you know all that energy can be reused as actual power? Companies like ReRev and Green Revolution have engineered ways to turn cardio machines into energy sources. These companies connect cardio equipment -- Green Revolution works exclusively with spin bikes -- to transform the energy you've burned to electricity that gyms can use. Go to revrev.com to find a participating gym.
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