Many things in life are big environmental polluters: transportation, large gatherings, agriculture; we could go on – you get the gist. But we never thought the gym was a place that would end up on the list. Then we went for a workout at the Green Curve, the first eco-friendly gym in Singapore, and learned a couple of things you need to know about.
Fact: gyms may be a great place to burn energy, but they also consume a lot of energy too. Others also go through a lot of single-use plastic; think of the number of people who pick up a new bottle of water every time they workout. Now, imagine you could harness some of the energy you produce and use it to power parts of the gym itself, and bring your own bottle to refill at a water station? Eco-friendly gyms all over the world are setting new trends for cutting carbon emissions, and while the trend is a little slow getting to Asia, we found a spot committed to the cause — The Green Curve, Singapore’s first eco-friendly gym.
As we went along our workout, we learned about the impact that gyms have through their various touchpoints. Aside from the visible elements like a water dispenser and stocking eco-activewear, we discovered how through things like its recycled rubber flooring, oversized windows and an energy-producing treadmill reduced the gym’s environmental impact. Get to know more about Green Curve with photos featuring sustainable activewear by Outfyt. Here’s the skinny.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Have you ever noticed that traditional gyms use the kind of lighting you might find in an operating room? First of all, who needs that? Secondly, all those lights on for so many hours of the day is a lot of energy used. Especially when thanks to an invention called windows, it’s unnecessary. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that The Green Curve maximise the natural light coming into the gym through its oversized windows. It also uses compact fluorescent lights that use lower energy instead of traditional incandescent lights. Other energy-saving features include timers on those lights. Together, this saves the gym money, and best of all, natural light is way more flattering.
MACHINES CAN GENERATE POWER, NOT JUST USE IT
“Effort isn’t just measured in calories burned but also watts generated” reads the Green Curve’s slogan and that couldn’t be truer when it comes to its treadmills. We didn’t even know these existed before we visited The Green Curve (did you?), but they are using the world’s first energy-producing treadmill — the SportsArt treadmill. This eco powered equipment technology captures human exertion and turns it into usable electricity.
“While traditional machines consume huge amounts of energy, and many people increase consumption by watching TV while using them, when jogging on the SportsArt treadmill, you are producing energy while running. We use this energy to charge our music speakers and phones.”
SMARTER SHOWERS START AT THE DESIGN STAGE
A necessary evil, because you can’t have a gym without a shower. And showers use a lot of water, especially when you have dozens of people using multiple showers throughout the day. The Green Curve tackled this from inception and worked in a low water consumption design and now uses less water. That said, the rest is up to you — keep your showers to under five minutes…always.
SAY NO TO SINGLE-USE PLASTIC
I used to go to a spin studio where a majority of the class would buy a bottle of water on the way in. It’s a pretty typical scene at gyms everywhere. We’re starting to see gyms introduce water dispensers, but at the Green Curve, you can’t buy any single-use plastic water bottles at all. It asks their members to use reusable drink containers and provides water dispensers in place of selling water bottles.
CLEAN AND GREEN
Think about it; your skin is in direct contact with most of the equipment at a gym, so you need to think about what touched it last and hopefully, it was a cleaning product. Even still, many cleaning products have hazardous warnings on them. Would you use a moisturiser with a dangerous caution on it? Probably not so why rub onto a cleaning product with that warning. The Green Curve use cleaning products that are natural, eco-friendly, are made in Singapore, empower females, and are ethical. “We care too much about hygiene in the gym, so we knew we needed to involve a brand that has the same goals as us, and we went with Quinbi.”
CONSCIOUS AND ECO-FRIENDLY ACCESSORIES ONLY
You won’t find any big sportswear brands at The Green Curve. It only sells products that don’t harm the planet. “We support local, homemade brands that are ethical. We especially look for brands that empower women and made with love and peace.” Some of the brands we spotted were Nuzest, Unpackt, Yoga Super Fuel, left-handesign, QUINBI, Ubu Swimwear, hoyakerry and Micora SEA. Even if you’re not in the mood for a workout, but you’re in the mood for some leggings, The Green Curve is an excellent one-stop-shop for all things eco.
YOU DON’T NEED CHICKEN AFTER YOU WORKOUT
Sure, chicken is full of protein and a great post-workout meal, but is it essential to achieve your fitness goals? And could you be making choices that are better for the environment? We were delighted to discover super healthy and super tasty green bowls at the Green Curve that were nutritious and pack a lot of protein. “Our body needs more nutrition, vitamins and minerals — not just protein,” we learned. “You don’t need to eat a huge amount of protein to grow muscle. A bowl of mixed beans, vegetables, seeds, nuts and tofu is much better for you than just rice and chicken. Our body needs nutrition, not just six-packs!”
HEALTHY SHAKES FOR YOU, AND THE PLANET
News flash: protein shakes aren’t that good for you or the planet. Packed with added sugars, milk powders and animal proteins, they’re not doing anyone any good. So you can guess how happy we were to be handed a vegan protein shake at the Green Curve. Sure they might still be high in calories (we need those, however) but they are lean, clean and allergen-free — healthy for you and the planet.
CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN IS IMPORTANT, TOO
The Green Curve uses recycled rubber flooring. Why does that matter? Besides the fact that it used recycled instead of new materials to fit out the gym, we’ve done some reading and discovered that rubber recycling flooring is safe, offers sound protection, is hygienic and easy to clean. It also looks better in our opinion and demonstrated that The Green Curve went above and beyond merely eradicating plastic water bottles and calling themselves an eco-gym. Green materials also extend the lifespan of a floor. It’s the real deal.
A GYM SHOULD BE GREEN INSIDE AND OUT
The entire team at Green Is The New Black is active in our respective communities, and we value those who take time out of their day to give back. The Green Curve share this philosophy and actively promotes and participates in the eco-community, doing educational and social events on the regular. During the 2019 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, it sponsored 10 Green Run Ambassadors to encourage and inspire participants, volunteers, supporters, and organisers to be mindful about the trash generated at mass events.