Ah, the famous New Year's resolutions! We start January with the best intentions in the world and a list of wishful new habits to adapt that are longer than our forearm... only to find that we can't keep up with all the changes we need to make to our daily lives! How about sticking to ONE resolution this year? Well, okay, we cheated a bit... these are actually five resolutions that encompass two important themes: respect for the environment and our bodies. They CAN be summarized in one simple sentence though: this year, we want to take care of ourselves, but not at the expense of our planet. You'll see, it's easier to implement than it sounds, I promise!
Just follow this wise advice!
1. Equip yourself for sports in an eco-conscious way
Have you ever noticed that the vast majority of sportswear is made of synthetic materials that are not biodegradable and are manufactured under conditions that are far from ethical? The same is true for sports shoes. There are options to gear up while remaining eco-conscious, although they might require you to step out of your comfort zone.
First of all, favor natural materials such as cotton and merino wool, which, unlike polyester for example, do not release plastic micro-particles with each wash. Our sportswear items are probably the clothing we wash the most often, so we might as well make sure the process isn't harmful to the environment. Make sure you also choose a laundry detergent that is biodegradable and effective in cold water.
You can also do you research to find ethically manufactured athletic shoes. If you’re on a budget, you can always browse second-hand resell websites and platforms: many people buy shoes in the wrong size and can't exchange or return them. This makes it easy to find a new pair of shoes at a bargain price!
2. Staying active without the use of fossil fuel
What could be more paradoxical than driving to the gym or to yoga? The idea of burning fuel to spend calories is simply counterproductive! If you absolutely must go someplace to exercise, try jogging, biking or taking public transportation to get there. Better yet! Find a sport you can practice in the comfort of your own home. Many Pilates, yoga and cardio classes are available online. If you're gearing up to take classes from home, look for gym accessories made from more eco-friendly materials, like cork yoga mats or organic bamboo towels.
Working out at home is convenient, economical and environmentally friendly... and think of the satisfaction of showering at home instead of in the locker room, with your own eco-friendly body products!
3. Staying hydrated without plastic
Some facts about disposable water bottles1:
- In Ontario alone, nearly one trillion plastic bottles end up in landfills each year;
- Producing disposable water bottles requires almost 2,000 times more energy than producing tap water, which is regulated by Health Canada, unlike bottled water;
- Plastic bottles can take from 450 to 1000 years to decompose;
- The water in disposable bottles contains microplastics such as polypropylene, polystyrene, nylon and polyethylene terephthalate (PET);
- It takes three times the water to make the bottle as it does to fill it.
I think we can all agree that swapping disposable plastic water bottles for reusable alternatives is a small gesture with a big impact. In addition to being much less harmful to the environment, you can opt for thermos water bottles, which will keep your water cool. And why not take the opportunity to make your water tastier by adding slices of lemon or cucumber? You may be more motivated to rehydrate yourself this way!
4. Make your own healthy protein bars
Protein bars are often the quick and easy option to carry around in your gym bag... but have you ever looked at the ingredient list or the over-packaging on these snacks? The best way to know exactly what we're eating is to cook ourselves! Consider finding recipes for healthy protein bars or tasty energy bites online and bake lots of them. Most of these bars and bites can be frozen and they're also great as a snack for the kids!
5. Choosing clean and plastic free deodorant and sunscreen
Is it us or working out to flush out toxins and then applying body care products with a list of ingredients laced with potentially harmful elements is a bit of a contradiction? Fortunately, there are alternatives from natural sources that are as effective as they are healthy!
Take ATTITUDE deodorant, for example: thanks to a gentle, high-performance aluminum-free formula made from plant- and mineral-based ingredients such as magnesium hydroxide, shea butter and coconut oil, you can practice your favorite sport without compromising your body's natural sweating process! In other words, you can flush out your toxins without releasing unwanted b.o.
For those who love outdoor sports, the Canadian brand also offers a zinc-based sunscreen. Like the zero-plastic deodorant, this SPF 30 stick is presented in a biodegradable cardboard package. Its formula is also harmless to coral reefs and marine life. Be protected from the sun's UVA and UVB rays all while limiting your impact on Mother Earth!
This year, be environmentally proactive while being active. Your body and the planet will thank you!