How can I be an environmentally conscious gym-goer?

Posted by
(WWF-UK) The Mighty Gorilla

The short answer is – be more gorilla. Never shave again? Swing from trees and beat your chest? If you want. But no – there are far more beneficial habits you can learn from our ape friends if you, like me, are an environmentally conscious gym goer. More on the Gorilla Theory later. 

Quick background: You have probably seen it widely reported by now, that at our current rate of selfish living we have roughly 10 years left before we create irreversible damage to our planet from climate change. This is dominantly man made, we have done this to our home. Transport emissions, farming & manufacturing are just some of the contributions to extreme weather, wildlife extinction, oceans filling with plastic and ozone depletion. 

My Contribution – I, personally, am not vegan, nor am I vegetarian. After much reading on the topic however, I have taken the responsibility to make changes to my life, to help make a difference. I have given up most dairy, I do not consume milk or most milk based products (yoghurts, cream, ice cream etc). I now opt for Dairy Free alternatives, which I will go into further shortly. I have also become far more strict with recycling and conduct research before buying certain products, opting for items which come from environmentally conscious brands. I am not here to preach as I am in no place to. But, one small change can make a big difference. If you want some guidance on what small, seamless differences you can contribute, for a better tomorrow, keep reading. Individually, we are one drop, but together, we are an ocean. 

So – here I will outline some exercise/gym based changes you can make. You can make one of them, half of them or all of them, but even 1 simple change is a great help. So, what can you do? – 

  • REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES – Many people buy new plastic water bottles before each session. Save yourself some money and help save the planet by buying yourself a reusable bottle. These can be found online in many shapes, colours, sizes and materials. Most can be picked up for a few pounds, and last for ages. If you do ever need to use a plastic water bottle, please recycle it after. 
My Reusable Gym Bottle
  • WATER INSTEAD OF MILK FOR PROTEIN POWDER – This is a small change, and of course, many may use water already. But if you use milk currently, try it with water just once, and see if you like it. The milk industry is damaging to the environment as unstable dairy farming can lead to loss of ecologically important areas, and we all know that cows produce a lot of methane, damaging to the O-Zone layer. Most of the time, you won’t be able to tell the difference. And of course, water is healthier than milk anyway.
  • SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING – Many brands and retailers are adding sustainable clothing into their Corporate Social Responsibility agendas. A great one to check out is the Adidas Parley range. This is a collaboration between Adidas and Parley for the Oceans. Every item is made of plastic rubbish collected from remote beaches and coastal communities. Seriously, check them out! Further to Adidas, Asos and many other online retailers now have an option to search for ‘sustainable’ or ‘recycled’ wear. Nike’s Fly Knit range technology prevents millions of pounds of waste from reaching landfill due to the materials it uses. So – next time you’re thinking of purchasing some new gym gear, keep sustainable products like these in mind. 
  • VEGAN PROTEIN POWDER – You may or may not know, but one of the many reasons people are vegan/opt for vegan products is the positive effect on the environment. As said earlier, I am not a vegan myself, but swapping some products for vegan products can have a great effect. I will only recommend items which I am using myself and have great taste! In terms of Protein Powder, for bulk powder (Shoutout the Ectomorph Gang), The Protein Works Vegan Mass Gainer is unrivalled. With a range of flavours and 500 calories/39g of protein per serving, you really can’t go wrong. In terms of normal vegan protein blend I have not experimented much, but judging by online reviews, The Protein Works Vegan Protein Blend comes up trumps here! Give them a try, enjoy the taste, see the gains, and help the planet. 

    In terms of Vegan/Vegetarian alternatives, below are a few examples of items I have swapped, and love: 

    Semi Skimmed Milk for Oat Milk (Vegan) – Oat milk is the closest alternative taste wise to cows milk for me, with Almond coming in at a close second.
    Activia Yoghurt for Alpro Soya Yoghurt (Vegan) – Banana & Strawberry is my favourite flavour.
    Mince Meat for Quorn Mince (Vegetarian) – Give Quorn a go in your Bolognese or Chilli, see if you notice the difference .
    Whey Protein Powder for The Protein Works Vegan Mass Gainer (Vegan) – Go get them Vegan gains – Mother Nature will thank you for it!
    Dairy Ice Cream for Swedish Glace UK Soy Vanilla Ice Cream (Vegan) -This stuff is genuinely delicious, and it would be a boring list without a cheat snack!
    Dairy Protein Chocolate for My Protein Vegan Chocolate (Vegan) No comment needed for this stuff, just try it, trust me.
MyProtein.com

You have now heard some great tips on how to be more conscious of the environment in relation to the gym. If you can help transfer these into other aspects of your life, that would be brilliant. So – our final point takes us back to the Gorilla message. Sorry if you have already taken it literally and your search history looks something like this: 

*Never go FULL Gorilla*

You see – Gorillas are vegetarian animals, and they have no issue with strength and muscle. Whilst a Meerkat eats meat, and I know who I would rather have in my corner in a fight. Gorillas also use the surrounding nature as their gym, swinging from trees and doing pull ups on branches. So, if you follow a vegetarian diet and go to an eco gym, you will be following the Gorilla mantra, and helping to reverse the damage we have done to our amazing planet. 

But seriously, if you are inspired to follow at least one point from this blog, it would be absolutely brilliant. If you think other people would like to read about what changes they can make, then please share/like/comment and help to spread the word. Please get in touch if you have any questions, and let me know how you get on if you implement any of these changes!

‘Be the change you want to see in the world’

Have a splendid week, 

Luke

6 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this with me Chester!
    I’ve just brought myself a reusable bottle online (this was the gentle nudge I needed) and am definitely going to be trying some of the alternatives you suggested… I’ve already tried the soy ‘ice cream’ too it’s so delicious!
    Thanks again Luke for your insights, it’s great to read content like this in relation to the gym, normally anything to do with this industry neglects the wider issues and just tends to focus on selfish aims- getting ripped at any cost. You’re becoming a bit of an inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This blog post came perfectly timed with MyProtein’s 60% off sale! I ordered loads and it all arrived this morning. I tried your recommendations of the vegan protein chocolate and even though I know you said The Protein Works Vegan Protein powder was the best I couldn’t resist the MP discount for that one. I love both and am so glad I came across this article. It’s such a small change but I actually feel better for it already, knowing that I’m playing my part even a bit whilst still reaching my fitness goals. Thank you Pectomorph!

    Liked by 1 person

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