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  • drsuzbaxter

Sustainability and eco-friendly choices

Okay team today I am writing about how to be a little bit more sustainable in your business. Apparently it's a trait of a millennial, which is perhaps why I am feeling the need to have sustainable practices in businesses that I affiliate with. Apparently my preference for sustainability would make me choose one company over another if one had more sustainable practices. So I guess I'm conforming to societal norms by telling you the following information. But nevertheless, I feel like I should’ve already.

So you may have heard of global warming unless you've been living under a rock for the last five years. If you've been living under a rock, let me know how you go about doing this because I feel like that would be a very sustainable practice. Anyway, that aside, ways that you can be more sustainable in your fitness business and ensure that you are keeping up with giving back to the environment.

First one is when you're purchasing your leggings and workwear, (which can be made out of microplastics) I like to look for leggings that are made with some recycled plastic in it, or recycled materials. It's not always possible but if it is, I do try to do it. On top of that, I know that a lot of the gear that I buy, I try to make it high quality stuff that lasts a long time and so there are a few brands that I've found that last a very long time. And I like to purchase from them because I feel like it's an investment because they last longer if I keep a hold of them.

If I stop wanting to own them, then a high quality item is a good one to donate to your local charity shop like the Red Cross for them to sell on for profits as a bare minimum, the donation process, that takes very little effort. But first and foremost, it's very good to sell it secondhand on one of the marketplaces that are out there, just so that you can help with the efforts of charity shops and op shops and that sort of thing. Reason being there's only so much that charity shops and op shops can do in order to be able to stock items. So they actually are one of the greatest contributors to landfill of any business. It means that there's a lot of stuff that they have that they just simply can't sell or can't hold on to. If you can first and foremost, hop on a marketplace, hop on eBay, hop on Facebook marketplace or on Depop you'll find that you're able to pass the item on to somebody who's going to get some more wear out of it. And there is quite a large market for people that are after good quality secondhand active activewear. Especially gear that has special technologies in it like one of the items that I have has like silversence in it, which means that it's anti stink. So that means that the item is going to last a whole bunch longer than the typical wear and tear over the space of two years. So it's going to last for a very long time. So passing that on to someone else who might have been more looking to fast fashion at the same private price point. They get to come away with a good quality item and also know that they're giving back to the earth and you get to know that it's in the hands of someone who's going to use it

I looked into an upcycle opportunity where you used to get like a bag in your mailbox. And it was asking for high quality stuff for the Kidney Foundation and that sort of thing. And I did read an exposee that was saying that these items that you don't need actually end up being sent to Fiji and other countries and being sold by the kilo to those countries. And that some of the most wealthiest people in Australia, own those companies. And so a small margin gets given to charity, which is great. And then also I guess the item gets to be upcycled into your country of choice. But at the same time I don't know that it necessarily sat well with me because the whole point is that it's also going to reduce carbon emissions and that sort of thing. So if it is being transported at such a high scale, then does it necessarily cancel out the the carbon emission thing? I'm not sure maybe you can let me know.

Another one that we used to do when we were at university and I don't know if this is still a thing, but given the last point that was just made when we went to different islands and different destinations where there may be maybe was a bit more poverty, we would fill our suitcases, the remaining amount of weight with good quality clothes to take over and donate. And that seemed to work really well. So that might be another option for you. Especially if you're intending to go on holiday it might be a nice way to kind of upcycle some things that are maybe the holiday you enjoys but the day to day you does not.

In reading these you might also be noticing that the high quality items theme is really coming through. Reason being fast fashion is really the thing that people are trying to target these days and buying something that you're going to wear for a season and it's only designed to last for a season means that even if it's passed on secondhand, it's not going to have that much of a life after being passed on secondhand and this is where even getting it transported to Fiji and other countries. It isn't even being uptaken very well there because these things aren't lasting very long beyond them being shipped there. So it's a bit of a waste if that makes sense.

Another one that you can do is with your supplements containers, is some of them come in a biodegradable tub, which is really useful. You can plant a plant in them. Or I was finding that local rowing clubs really liked the empty whey containers to be able to put in items with that sealable lid that you know the turn led in order to keep their items safe when they were going out rowing. So it's worth seeing what secondhand uses you can use for these things.

Instead of buying separate containers. I do know that my mom really likes using secondhand whey containers for organizing things in the pantry. And that can come in useful because they're sealable containers that have like that twisty lid on it so it keeps it airtight and means that it's going to preserve things for longer and makes things less messy to have in the cupboard if you've got them labeled well.

On top of that, when you're buying equipment, look to get high quality equipment that will last a little bit longer. Reason being. If you make an investment of getting commercial quality, it'll mean that when you are done with the item, it will still retain a bunch of its value because it will still be valuable to use. So for instance weights that don't go rusty or mats that don't lose their integrity over time. And treating these items really well will ensure that you are able to keep items for longer which will cost less but also these items retain their value a lot more so that you can actually on sell them when you're done with them or want to upgrade them and therefore you'll be able to reduce costs for your business as well.

I also like in my fitness business do a bit of a needs assessment especially because I'm in the lean startup mode. Usually when I'm starting a new site, what I'll do is I'll get the non negotiable items that I really need and use day to day and then only slowly start adding extra items that may not be an absolute necessity. And then that way I'm able to keep costs down over time but also I'm able to rationalize whether I really need a piece of equipment or not or whether it would just be nice to have.

Another way is to go paperless. So having all of your programs digital can be a really good way around this and not printing unnecessary pages.

Another way that I saw a gym in Western Australia do is having a bin that was dedicated to recyclables and because you get a rebate on handing in recyclable bottles and cans and jars. This Bin was the proceeds off it were going to charity. So it's a nice way of knowing that your items are going to charity and if you are using plastic bottles, use them a few more times and just once. Try to use your reusable bottle as much as possible and try not to lose it.

What sustainable practices do you do in your business when it comes to looking after the environment? Let me know. Are you going to do any of these things? Let me know

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