Going green isn’t a new concept. For decades, millions of people have been calling for increased protections for the planet. According to earthday.org, Earth Day 2020 marked 50 years of global activations that aim to mobilize transformative action for Planet Earth worldwide.
A way your facility can take part in this transformative action is by making sure it’s using green disinfecting and cleaning products. In addition to helping the planet, this can also help your gym’s bottom line in two key ways, outlined below.
- Membership Sales
According to Stephen Steinberg, the founder of Vapor Fresh, utilizing green products free of chemicals that are harmful to the planet and your membership base can ultimately help your gym sell more memberships.
“It can help close sales of new members in this post-pandemic world,” explained Steinberg. “People want to know their gym is keeping them safe, and that doesn’t just mean from COVID. Letting your prospects know you use a disinfectant that is on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) List N for coronavirus — and also on their Safer Chemical Ingredients List — can increase your appeal as a place prospective members feel safe spending their time in.”
2. Member Retention
In the same notion of bringing in new members, retaining current members or bringing back current members after a pause from lockdowns can help keep your financials strong. After all, it’s a lot cheaper to retain current members than bring in new ones.
With this in mind, choosing green products that are safe for the environment, your equipment and members showcases a level of care and concern that can lead to greater member retention.
“Marketing the fact you’re using greener disinfectants can help keep your churn rates under control,” said Steinberg. “Any differentiator you can provide to give you one leg up on your competing local gyms should be taken advantage of.”
Plus, going green doesn’t have to mean more expensive. Take Vapor Fresh for example. “It actually means more affordable,” said Steinberg. “You can upgrade to a strong, safer gym wipe while also using it as a marketing tool and save money on your cleaning products. It’s a win-win-win.”
What Makes a Product Green?
In today’s climate, trust is more important than ever. It’s vital to actually deliver what you are marketing and promising to your members and prospects. So how do you identify a green disinfectant for your gym?
Steinberg said there are two things to look for:
- “That it is a registered disinfectant. There are different levels of cleaning — surface cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. Disinfecting is the gold standard and it’s absolutely necessary to have in a gym. Let’s not forget that MRSA is still a major risk, and weaker cleaning and sanitizing wipes won’t provide the protection your staff and members need.”
- “Also, check that the safety data sheets are clean and don’t have glaring warnings for skin, eyes or lungs. There are also environmental warning sections on the SDS, and that will clearly state if there are ecological concerns. Making sure the SDS is clear in those sections is a good idea, too.”
According to Steinberg, Vapor Fresh uses citric acid to disinfect instead of quats — also known as quaternary ammonium compounds — which are potent disinfectant chemicals commonly found in disinfectant wipes, sprays and other household cleaners designed to kill germs.
“Quats are pretty toxic to aquatic life and are not removed in wastewater treatment plants, so they wreak havoc on local water ecosystems,” said Steinberg. “Our wipes are also recyclable to help reduce waste byproducts.”
While some people may see sustainability, going green and recycling as a trend, the younger generation does not. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 70% of Americans ages 18 to 34 worry about global warming and its effects.
“I wouldn’t categorize this as a trend,” said Steinberg. “Even before the pandemic there were movements in states like California to ban quats from schools and other important places to reduce exposure. Now that we are all exposed to disinfectants way more frequently at much higher concentrations, those trends will absolutely expand quickly as people become more educated on the risks of quat exposure.”
As health club operators you are committed to helping your members live healthier lives, and this includes exposing them to cleaning products that don’t put them in danger. Going green will help your facility be a part of the solution, not the problem.