How can a work out make our planet greener?

From 2000 to 2015, the US has seen an increase of 67.8% (32.8 million to 55 million) of gym members across the country. Although a figure showing the number of gym members in the world is currently not available, by looking at the gym membership numbers in the US itself, we can assume that the number of gym members around the world is a very large number.

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So, how can every gym member, people who work out at their homes or even people who visit the gym occasionally, contribute to the environment?

The key to sustainability here, lies in installing electricity generators in every cardio machine possible. For example, the New York Sports Clubs’ facility, already has gym bikes with electricity generators installed, which converts the motion of the wheels into electricity that is used by the gym.

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The issue that this incentive has faced is that it costs a lot to install and each individual using the equipment produces a very small amount of energy. In the past, even technologies like compact fluorescent bulbs and Solar/Wind power initiatives, faced this problem; however, today they all have been established worldwide. As technology advances and as innovations arise, it will definitely become very possible for this sustainability method to become cost effective, says Tom Gibson, a mechanical engineer consultant.

Also, backers of the electricity generator technology claim that it is only a matter of time until every machine in 30,000 gyms in the US have this technology installed in their gym machines, bringing a massive change to our environment.

For example, an article by the MIT school of Engineering stated ‘a dedicated athlete who commits to an hour on the machine every single day could produce 255 kilowatt hours per year—not a negligible number when the average single-family U.S. home consumes worth of 600 kilowatt hours per month’. Even though such technology would only decrease fossil fuel produced energy use by around 15% for a single family, initiating the technology worldwide would accumulate sustainable energy significantly.

green-battery.jpgAs the cost is the real issue, governments around the world could start adding a sustainability tax to the incomes of the middle class and rich. In addition, they could heavily tax the top 1% of rich people and corporations, and gain a lot of funding. They could then provide gym memberships for free or subsidize people for going to the gym or even install these gym machines for a lower price in people’s homes. This would definitely result in a very healthy and sustainable environment.

-Jay Mirchandani

References:

Gibson, Tom. “These Exercise Machines Turn Your Sweat Into Electricity”. IEEE Spectrum: Technology, Engineering, and Science News. N.p., 2011. Web. 23 Sept. 2016.

Stark, KIllean. “Could We Use Exercise Machines As Energy Sources? | MIT School Of Engineering”.Engineering.mit.edu. N.p., 2011. Web. 23 Sept. 2016.

Statista,. Total Number Of Memberships At Fitness Centers / Health Clubs In The U.S. From 2000 To 2015 (In Millions). 2015. Web. 23 Sept. 2016.

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