Two new year resolutions: offset your carbon and get back in the gym? Try combining them. That climate-conscious Veganuary pledge — protect the planet! Save the koalas! — shouldn’t only apply at mealtimes: in 2020, conscious training means more than simply taking your favourite Christmas S’well bottle along to Barry’s. It means a total clean-up of your gym routine, from carbon-neutral classes to travel-free retreats.
Soho House’s former gym director Roland Khounlivong has just started his latest project as manager of shiny new eco studio, Rumble Gym, in Dalston, and the focus is all about carbon-neutral training (rumble-gym.com). For every class or PT session a client books, the gym will plant a tree to help offset their carbon footprint — “the only way forward” if we are to get serious about protecting the planet, says Khounlivong. He and his team will also plant a tree for every follow on Instagram because “even something as simple as browsing the internet increases our carbon footprint too”.
Rumble leads a growing movement in the capital: Terra Hale’s human-powered studio in Shepherd’s Bush harnesses members’ energy to power its facilities (and its neighbours’ facilities, too, if you sweat hard enough) and eco-fitness firm SportsArt is bringing its new Verde treadmill, the world’s first energy-producing treadmill, to London gyms (terrahale.com; gosportsart.com). It can convert up to 74 per cent of the kinetic energy you produce into electricity — a good excuse to get the miles in.
When it comes to taking your workout outdoors, eliminating plastic bottles is the hot topic in running right now so choose your races carefully. London Marathon organisers are now trialling bottle belts made from recycled plastic and provide edible seaweed capsules of water along the course, while October’s Royal Parks Half Marathon is London’s greenest, with no plastic bottles on the course for this year’s race — a pledge organisers set for 2020. Expect Ooho water pouches and compostable cups instead.
Download Charity Miles for your training. The app tracks your stance and donates money to your chosen charity for every mile you move. The Nature Conservancy, The National Park Foundation and WWF are among those you can pick.
Your new year fitness detox doesn’t have to cost the earth, either: swap that Mauritian yoga retreat for something closer to home to up your green points (and skip the jetlag). Fitness star Lucy Mecklenburgh’s Results Retreats combine lifting workouts, dance classes and mindset talks in the Essex countryside; No1 Boot Camp offers weights, spinning, boxing and hiking on the Norfolk coast; while Glass House Retreat combines Pilates, Boxercise, TRX and yoga in a luxe detox villa just an hour from London (resultswithlucy.com; no1bootcamp.com; glasshouseretreat.co.uk). This month’s break is Veganuary-themed to boost the eco credentials.
Green thinking also applies to your workout wardrobe. London eco-brand Tala makes garments using 92 per cent up-cycled materials such as recycled plastic bottles and factory offcuts for materials, while Bondi Beach-born Nimble offers tights made from recycled plastic bottles which are cleaned, melted and turned into a yarn that’s knitted with spandex for a silky finish. It’s stocked in Selfridges.
Sweaty Betty’s new Supersculpt Leggings are made from 16 post-consumer plastic bottles; British brand Contur offers bras, tanks and leggings made from repurposed nylons, ocean plastics and cotton; and Girlfriend Collective’s latest leggings are made from recycled fishing nets For green-age kicks, the options are plentiful. Start with Merrell’s new vegan-friendly trainers, Adidas’ ocean plastic Parley range or Veja’s Condor, the brand’s first sport shoe that’s 53 per cent bio-based and recycled — and looks great too.
The revolution starts at ground level.