Fit for green

Fit for green

9 December, 2012
HK gym goes eco
California Fitness Hong Kong was first to install people-power equipment

California Fitness Hong Kong is one of the first fitness centres in the region to go green, and in some unconventional ways.
Some of the initiatives include encouraging members to conserve what they use when exercising, and recycling plastic bottles and paper. The result of this has been a significant amount of recycled materials from the 10 California Fitness clubs in Hong Kong - more than 5,000 kg of used plastic bottles and over 2,600 kg of paper recycled since the recycling program began in 2008. Additionally, the company has been working with green groups locally and abroad to help reduce their carbon footprint by replanting trees and sending out light bulbs that last longer and emit less energy to developing countries. A total of 40 tons of carbon dioxide was offset by the company through the Gudhepanchgani wind farm in India in 2009.
California Fitness also encourages their clients to use reusable bottles as opposed to paper cups while exercising to cut down on unnecessary waste, along with stricter rules on towels. They also regularly monitor electricity, air conditioning and gas usage in the gyms and reduce usage when possible.
While the features mentioned so far are commendable, they are also fairly typical for any businesses trying to cut down on how much carbon they emit. But California Fitness has taken another step that makes them quite unique in the Hong Kong fitness landscape. They are the first fitness centre to introduce cardio equipment that not only cuts down on emissions but actually powers the gym with green clean energy while being used. In place since 2007, the machines use the power generated by your workout to feed back into the gym’s power needs. Thus, shedding pounds is combined with saving carbon dioxide emissions.
The President of California Fitness had this to say on the initiative: “One person has the ability of producing 50 watts of electricity per hour when exercising at a moderate pace. If a person spends one hour per day running on the machine, he/she could generate 18.2 kilowatts of electricity and prevent 4,380 litres of CO2 released per year! We love the idea of burning calories in order to NOT burn fossil fuels. The “Powered by YOU” program enables users to improve their health and the environment—one step at a time”.
Not only can you feel good inside while you help the climate, you actually get to see the physical results of your workout. As Californa Fitness member Rita Wong put it, “It’s very good motivation. You can watch yourself burning fat to turn on the light.”
Hong Kong is no longer the only place running green gyms, as their popularity is slowly spreading throughout the world. This revolutionary idea seems a brilliant way to easily combine getting a good workout with helping the Earth, which battles the traditional view that gyms are the least carbon-efficient way to stay fit. Hopefully for the planet’s sake, this trend will keep on running!
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By: Ecozine Staff


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