Keeping Fit and Living a Sustainable Lifestyle

Hello! I have another collaborative post today while I’m out in Toronto. I’m a HUGE fan of trying to live sustainably so this is a topic close to my heart 🙂

It’s all well and good living a healthy lifestyle, but what about the planet? Considering we are in the midst of a climate crisis with protests and demonstrations happening all over the world, it’s time to think about how you can make a difference by balancing your healthy lifestyle with a more eco-friendly one.

Get Outside

What better way to contribute to a more sustainable fitness regime than by ditching the air-conditioned and machine-populated environment of the gym? Taking your workout outdoors and into the lush, colourful scenery of nature gives you a change of scenery and some essential fresh air.

Whether you’re going for a run through the park or just doing yoga in the backyard, the energy you’ll save by not driving to the gym nor using electricity on the equipment is a small but positive step in the right direction. Plus, you don’t have to deal with everyone’s least favourite gym members. You know who they are.

What’s Old Can Be New

While it’s nice to buy new clothes once in a while, it’s not good for the environment, and considering how quickly avid athletes go through running shoes and spandex running shorts, they often spend more than the average person each year.

Most people will chuck their shoes and clothes into the bin once they have run their course (a little pun intended). However, what’s better is if you research local recycling plants and programs in your area to make the practice more sustainable. These items will either be repurposed or have the materials separated to use again with the next pair.

At The Gym

While exercising outside is good for the mind and soul, it’s not always possible. This is especially true if you live too far away from a beautiful exercise area or if the weather is too treacherous to get outside. With this, the gym is the only solution, but just because you’re forced to go to the gym doesn’t mean you can’t still do it sustainably.

If you’re concerned about the environment, you can avoid electronic machines altogether, such as the treadmill or Stairmaster. Instead, work out only on machines that operate using dynamic motion. However, if you don’t have any option but to use the treadmill, set it to incline to make you work harder without using as much electricity.

Some gyms also offer eco-friendly workout solutions, so look into that to get the most from each session.

Greener Eats

Healthy eating and exercise go hand in hand, and you can maximize your sustainability potential by eating even healthier than you do currently. Not only will doing this help the environment, but it will also fill you with the nutrients you need to have your best workout every time.

Depending on your workout needs, consult with nutritionists over how to get the most from your diet while still ensuring sustainability. If you rely on protein powders, you can look into vegan options instead of the standard whey products. By investing in cruelty-free products, you do more for the planet while still getting all the vitamins and amino acids you need to build strength and endurance.

A Different Commute

One of the critical issues facing the environment now is the emissions from cars and motorcycles. You can counteract this by taking a different type of transport to get to the gym. Public transport and ride-sharing with gym buddies are a great way to minimize personal carbon emissions. But there are other even more economically friendly methods to help you get into better shape.

Opting to take a bicycle over petrol- and diesel-based transport eliminates exhaust fumes from your commute and gives you a workout all at the same time. If you live close enough, you can also walk to the gym, which will also help you stretch the muscles before starting your workout.

Reusable Containers

With a terrifying 8 million tons of plastic finding its way into our oceans every year, there has never been a more critical time to consider sustainable containers. Instead of purchasing a new bottle of water from the vending machine every session, you should find a reusable container instead.

Products such as the keep cup is a fantastic choice that’s large enough to keep you hydrated on a long run but also not too bulky that it cramps your hand after you convince yourself to go for one more mile.

(Re-)Cycling Towards Succes

We know that one person cannot change the world, but making all the changes you can to help ease the threat of climate change means the planet is one step closer to healing.

Do you think you live sustainably?

How as a runner do you wish our sport was more sustainable?

Being more eco friendly

To my friends and family I’ve become a little bit insufferable in my quest to be more eco-friendly.

I’m trying hard not to be *that* person who always makes a comment about plastic or judges anyone when they throw something perfectly recyclable into the regular bin rather than the non-recycle bin, but sometimes I can’t help it. I genuinely feel very concerned for our planet – or at least how we live on the planet. Because let’s be clear, we won’t destroy the planet in that it won’t exist anymore. We’ll just destroy our own species and way of life that we’ve become so accustomed to.

I try to make better choices when I go shopping. Loose vegetables and fruit rather than wrapped in plastic. Taking my metal straw to the cinema. Always having my bag of life with me. Choosing cans over bottles. Re-using and recycling like a pro.

But realistically it feels so hard. Like not just “this is a lot of effort” hard to constantly be thinking and making good choices, but like Current Life makes it very difficult to choose the right choices when the choices aren’t available. Races using plastic bottles. Shops only selling certain things in plastic. Restaurants, bars, workplaces… Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed by it all and like no one cares.

Obviously I can only do so much, short of giving everything up and living in a hut in the wilderness or devoting my life to protesting for Big Changes. That’s not quite me. What I can do is little stuff and trying to educate those around me who aren’t as clued up (without sounding like a pretentious annoying knob that no one wants to talk to anymore).

[Yes of course being vegan would be the way forward but honestly, after trying it, that lifestyle is not for me. I have reduced my meat and dairy consumption during the week though].

One thing that has really been a gamechanger for me is the concept of eco bricks. I found THIS article. In a nutshell, you have a clean plastic bottle and you fill it with non-recyclable plastic. You literally fill it to the brim. I use a a sturdy stick (used to be a chopstick) and then you just push it all down.

It’s a great concept! You then take it to your nearest eco brick drop-off point (which you can find online) and they can then use it for sustainable projects. I’ve made about four already. It is timeconsuming and hard plastic is really tough as you have to cut it all up but I try and do a little every day (we have a basket where we put our clean plastic now).

It’s incredible how much plastic we use in a week though. It is a never ending task. And I’m not perfect, if the plastic is really contaminated from food I don’t use it because the length of time washing and then drying the plastic makes the process so much harder.

My parents are really getting on board with it all now too. They used to be terrible. But after excessively nagging them they try a lot better. They even went so far as to buy eco friendly washing up liquid, cleaning products and detergant for washing. I’m so proud!

It’s easy to feel helpless and get consumed with the idea that one person can’t make a change, but you really can. If everyone did something than that would be huge. Just educating yourself about what you can recycle and what you can reuse or avoid buying.

Little changes like not buying plastic covered fruit and veg. Aim for the loose variety, or shop locally in a fruit and veg shop. Buy cans instead of bottles. Use a composter for food waste. Meatless days (I currently have a lot of those days during the week). Avoid fast fashion companies. Give unwanted items to charity. Recycle your trainers (some running shops take them or use clothing banks). You can even think about carbon offsetting (here’s a good overview of sites that do this).

Basically just try and do something. Anything is better than nothing.

Are you eco friendly?

What are your top tips?

Environmentally sustainable sportswear – SueMe review

I think we all know we need to be more environmentally conscious and eco-friendly.

Unless you’ve been living under a box, you’ll be well aware that plastic is our nemesis and we should all be trying to reduce how much we use. Though it’s ridiculously difficult as it’s permeated our lives so deeply. You cannot escape it. It wraps our food, our cosmetics, packaging, it’s in anything we buy really. It’s almost impossible to avoid it.

What else I’ve noticed is the trend of “fast fashion”. Clothes that are almost disposable. You wear them for a short period of time – because they’re on trend – and then you’re done with them as the next trend emerges. And because the clothes are so cheap, it’s easy to do. Personally I don’t follow the majority of trends. I’m not that into fashion and I like buying clothes that will last me and I won’t look stupid wearing next year.

I’m the first to admit don’t do enough to be environmentally sustainable but I do try and make a conscious effort in small ways throughout my day. Like using my reusable coffee mug, my metal straw, buying less bottles of fizzy drinks, recycling, re-using, composting… And not buying stupid stuff that won’t last.

This is why I was keen to get involved with SueMe. The company manufactures responsibly sourced sportswear while still being comfortable and performance-related. I was able to try two pairs of their underwear and a t-shirt. Firstly, I thought it was very cool that they send SEEDS (as in, for plants) with their items. I love this!Their underwear is made from 95% beech tree pulp and is manufactured to be CO2 neutral. Not only this but the fibres require less amount of land and a lower water consumption. The t-shirts are 70%  bamboo viscose as well as 30% organic cotton.The underwear is SO comfortable. They’re boy short style – so female boxers, if that’s the best terminology! And they fit so nicely and are super flattering. The material is very soft. You could wear these to run a marathon in and not suffer from the dreaded chafe, 100%. They are wickable, breathable and naturally antimicrobial, which is ideal for sports. Interesting the pants (knickers? Shorts?) were designed by the same guy who made Iain Thorpes’ swimsuit (the swimsuit he wore to win the Gold medal). So you know they’re decent!I love the t-shirt as well. They have some very cool designs (a lot of cycling themes) but I just loved the thunder storm one.

The t-shirts are made in line with Global Organic Textile Standard and Global Recycle Standard and as such are manufactured in a way to meet certain standards (e.g. the water is recycled in a closed-loop system). Obviously all of this would be kind of wasted if the clothes didn’t feel or look good – my verdict? I really like them. The t-shirt is nice and casual and perfect with jeans.These days I think we just need to take a bit more time and conscious thought to decide where we’re buying things from, whether we actually need them and what impact we’re having on the environment. I don’t think we can just float through life willy nilly and not be responsible for our actions anymore. And supporting more companies like SueMe is a good step in the right direction I think!

Do you follow fashion trends?

What do you do to be more environmentally conscious?

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent these items from SueMe for free in exchange for a review post. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

Eco-Friendly Choices

Hello! Today I have a really interesting post written by freelance writer Emma Holm on being more energy-efficient and environmental-friendly, something I’m quite passionate about.

Technology is slowly becoming more energy-efficient in the home, however the differing amount of technology that we all possess is actually maintaining and increasing the energy we use. Energy companies have tried to facilitate the process of switching to more environment-friendly options, for example by providing customers with free smart meters as the switch from analogue to digital equipment gathers pace. Smart meters in British homes have been commonplace, and I have also noticed apps such as Nest mobile that allow you to manage your energy use away from the home become more popular. Attractive, mobile and easy to use interfaces have made saving energy more interesting and accessible. There are also more unusual inventions that help you monitor your ways, such as bags you drop in your toilet that reduce the amount of water you use. It goes in the watery section of the toilet where that big orange ball bobs up and down.

I am also looking to be economical with energy at home and thinking of the high usage technology that I use. This can range from energy saving kettles and choosing to pay a monthly fee for boiler maintenance and upkeep. Every time I brew up it costs something like 5p – I might put an honesty jar next to the kettle for friends and family!

I am currently pondering my energy choices at home as I try to live a simple life so any financial savings I can make will be beneficial. Heating takes up a lot of energy in the house, and switching to environment-friendly heating is one of the best things you can do, even on a low budget. Electric radiators like ones from Verismart Heating are easy to install and allow you to only use the amount of energy that you really need, saving you money in addition to being environment-friendly. Lighting is another key factor in monthly energy usage and the slow removal of traditional lightbulbs by the European Union has slowly me into using LED and other energy efficient lighting options. A clever mix of education and regulation is making us all more energy conscious and I do try and do my bit to help the environment.

One of the biggest changes you can make in terms of becoming environment-friendly is buying eco-friendly food products. From packaging to production, food damages the environment in a number of ways. Organic food is still popular in 2015 and one look at the Tesco website will demonstrate the continuing importance of organic and eco-friendly food in the marketplace. There has also been a movement to buy local as this reduces the amount of air miles that is involved with keeping unseasonal food on the shelves all year round. Bananas are one of the highest selling foods in volume due to their versatility but the average banana travels around 4,500 miles from countries such as Costa Rica, Ecuador and Brazil but often retails at a minimal cost. A mango would have once been a seasonal fruit but it takes around 4,600 miles to travel from India to the UK! Buying local and organic ensure the consumer makes an ethical choice and ploughs money back into local economies.

Eco-friendly living is getting easier and cheaper, and it’s a step everyone should take – that’s the only way we can have a lasting positive impact on the environment and still be able to enjoy our four seasons and beautiful nature and wildlife. Besides, it makes you feel better about yourself too, knowing that you are doing your part.

Does environmental factors influence the choices you make when it comes to your home?

Does where a product come from in a supermarket affect whether you’ll buy it or not?

What steps have you taken to be more environmentally friendly? For my current house I request a compost bin so I could get rid of food waste in a better way than it just ending up on a landfill site. I also recycle everything I can.