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With new technology being developed all the time, your club’s options for eco-friendly equipment are growing, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Smarter energy practices and general education for your members are just two of the ways you can create an eco-friendlier environment in your club.
Below, Jose Antonio Avina II, the owner of Sacramento Eco Fitness, shares some of his club’s practices for eco-friendly operations and reducing its carbon footprint.
CS: What are the benefits of going green?
JA: Our members become more eco-conscious. They’re constantly tagging us on new eco projects that are out there and telling us to incorporate them. So they’re gaining education by being members here — it’s like live beta testing. We’re letting them know ahead of time, “Hey, you’re not just going to get a workout here. You’re also going to be a tester for a lot of these ideas that we have and how we can harness more human energy.” It’s a live lab that we have, so they’re gaining knowledge through just being there.
CS: What are ways clubs can lower their carbon footprint?
JA: SportsArt, the maker of the equipment we use, put converters on their cardio machines. The individual needs to produce the energy to power that machine. Whatever is left over that someone doesn’t use goes directly back into the grid. Members can charge their phones as they exercise. [Installing energy-producing equipment is] one of the things gym owners can do immediately — those are immediate results and you quickly start seeing what you’re producing in real time.
If club operators wanted to go even further than offering eco-friendly equipment, they can also look at their building — how it’s set up, the windows, making sure they keep the doors closed when the air conditioning is on. Those are all little things everyone should be doing, not just gym owners. Those are all part of a little checklist of things they can do to reduce their carbon footprint and lower their energy costs.
CS: Do you know of any cost-saving methods?
JA: It really depends on the state you’re in. California has a really good grant program to help small businesses go green. A couple of years ago, solar panels were the big thing — now it’s battery storage. California offers several grant programs to help you get the financial assistance you need to make these changes. And there are also federal grants available, so those can also help out a lot. One of the big things is if you’re in California and importing a green product, you don’t have to pay the import tax on those in between states. It really just depends on what financial assistance you’re looking for.
CS: Any other advice for clubs looking to green fitness?
JA: Just know a lot of the machines that store energy and produce energy aren’t designed to speak to each other — that’s one of the big problems that we’ve faced. So if you’re trying to do the same thing, go ahead and reach out to us. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have and help you become more eco-friendly.