As triathletes we love being around nature, but are we doing everything that we can to protect and preserve our outdoor playground? Your training habits may be causing harm to the environment, but luckily, it’s easy to turn your routine green. Here are a couple of simple tips that will help you to reduce your carbon footprint and have a guilt-free workout.
Ditch the Bottled Water
If you are grabbing store-bought bottled water to use at the gym or on a training run, switch to a reusable water bottle. If you race much, you have probably received a number of these free. Not only will this cut the amount of waste you produce, but it will also keep your water colder for longer. Shop around for a bottle that works well for running and fits in your bike's bottle cage. Or you may need separate supplies for each sport, since some people prefer a Camelbak or FuelBelt for running.
Make Your Own Energy Bars
Another major source of triathlete waste production comes from food wrappers. Many of us like to refuel with a smoothie or an energy bar after working out, but many of these snacks come in plastic wrappers. You can help to eliminate this issue by making your own energy bars and packaging them in environmentally friendly wrapping. Making your own snacks also helps to reduce emissions from cargo trucks delivering the prepackaged bars to stores.
Wear Sustainable Brands
A lot of top fitness brands are currently joining the trend towards a greener lifestyle, making it easy to shop for sustainable workout equipment. You can find bags and performance technical clothing engineered to be eco-friendly. For example, some companies make clothing using recycled materials, while others design their products to be completely biodegradable. TPE is a popular material that’s both biodegradable and recyclable and locks out moisture and odors.
Training for a triathlon can be sweaty business, and nothing beats a shower to clean off after a session of biking or running. Unfortunately, though, many popular cleansing products contain components that are harmful to the environment. Parabens, phthalates, and formaldehyde are carcinogens that are commonly found in soaps and cosmetics, and they can wreak havoc on wildlife if allowed to accumulate in natural bodies of water. Always opt for natural deodorants and body washes where possible. You should also check for harmful chemicals in other products such as body lotion and sunscreen. This is even more important if your home uses a septic system to process waste before returning it to the natural water system.
By making some small changes to your triathlon training routine, you can reduce your carbon footprint and help to preserve the world where you bike, swim and run.