In our never ending quest to achieve bodies and minds that are both cleaner, clearer and stronger, it can be easy to overlook that our actions may damage and weaken our planet. Leaving no footprint as we jog, stretch, dance and box our way through our fitness regimes is, of course, impossible – but being aware of what we can do to minimise that footprint can help us to feel even more empowered about our lifestyle choices than exercise alone.
Avocados have long been the darling of the wellness world – and no wonder, they’re filling, packed with good fats and undeniably delicious. In the last few years we’ve seen them in just about every conceivable form – smashed on sourdough, blended into smoothies, rolled into sushi, disguised in brownies – even emblazoned on our sweatshirts. But at what cost? Our demand for these stony-hearted green beauties is so huge that in Mexico, swathes of forest are being decimated to make room for crops; there’s an H2O impact, too, with 72 gallons of water required to grow a pound of avocados. Try limiting your intake to once or twice a week rather than making them a daily staple.
Animal farming is one of the world’s biggest drains on the environment – responsible, according to recent Worldwatch statistics, for more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions – so try to get your protein from other sources. You don’t have to go vegan – as we saw above, lots of vegan food choices aren’t without their eco-drawbacks – but if you do have the occasional burger, try to ensure that it’s from a local and grass-fed source.
When it comes to wellness, hydration is key – so yes, you absolutely need to have a bottle of water on hand at all times, whether working out or walking to work. Single use plastic bottles are environmentally ruinous, not only in their manufacture but also in terms of litter and biodegradability. Invest in a multi-use one, particularly one made from a sustainable material like bamboo, and keep it on hand to quench your thirst and your ease your conscience.
Choose Your Yoga Mat Wisely
Choose a yoga mat that’s as good for the planet as what you do on it is for you. There are several brands out there which are non-toxic, crafted from natural materials and contain no PVC, EVA or any other synthetic materials. We love YogiBare at Silou HQ.
Raising a sweat is good for you, even if the laundry it necessitates is a bore – but when you bung all of that stuff in the wash, make sure that you turn the temperature down to 30 degrees (or even cold) to save energy on heating the water. A few drops of essential oil will ensure that your gear smells fresh, and your clothes will last longer if not subjected to higher temperatures, too.
On the subject of perspiration … be mindful that your deodorant choices can have an impact on the environment, too. Go for a natural, aluminium-free product, like the award-winning Earth Conscious Natural Deodorant, which comes in a balm and stops you from smelling, which is unpleasant, rather than from perspiring, which is natural! There are even vegan-friendly options available in the range, if that’s your thing.
Setting goals is a key factor in maintaining your enthusiasm for fitness activities, so why not use your health for good? Sign up for a race that supports an environmental charity, or set up your own challenge and fundraising page to support a cause that you’re passionate about.
Work Out Gear
Choose your workout gear not only according to how it looks – although of course this must be a factor! – but also based on how mindful its manufacture was. At Silou, we take care to ensure that the materials we use are non-toxic, both to the environment and your skin. Our garments are crafted in a factory where the workers benefit from high ethical standards, and the packaging we use is multi-use and minimal, made from sugar cane extract rather than oil.