Many of us feel that we
need to do more to protect the environment.
The chances are that you
probably already participate in behaviours that try to minimise your impact on
the world around you: recycling regularly, taking public transport, opting for
paperless billing or driving an electric car.
It’s win-win gym power: the user gets a great workout and the chance to work towards tangible rewards, the gym owner gets massively reduced electricity bills, and we don’t have to burn fossil fuels and harm the environment in order to do it.
How can exercise equipment generate electricity?
When we workout we
At the moment, that
energy is wasted; it does nothing but what if there was a way to take that
energy and send it to a battery? What if
the power in that battery could be turned into the electricity that can power
not just the gym itself but the neighbourhood, too?
Energym can install its battery
system as new or retrofit the technology into existing equipment, so any gym
can become a human powered gym without the need to buy brand new kit.
If you’d like to find out more about what we’re doing or if you’d like a demonstration, get in touch.
What are the benefits of power generating exercise equipment?
It’s easy to talk about
the environmental benefits; they’re obvious.
“It’s simple: the less cricket we play at every level the fewer people
will watch it, the less they will come to the ground and pay to enter, the less
chance there is for young people to be inspired to take up the game.”
And it’s not just rain. A Japanese typhoon in 2019 took out some of
the Rugby World Cup Fixtures. Australian
bushfires at the start of 2020 affected the Australian Open. The Scottish ski industry could collapse within
50-years because of a lack of snow.
You don’t have to be an
athlete or a professional sports fan to feel the effect of climate change on fitness.
If you exercise regularly,
then you may also find your favourite activities affected by climate change. Bustle
reported that Nike
has teamed up with Climate Change Lab to explore how climate change is
affecting fitness and exercise.
They found that temperature
plays a key role in determining whether marathon runners clock their fastest
times: their speed reduces when the outdoor temperature rises.
It’s as true for amateur
runners as much as the professionals: you won’t be able to smash those personal
bests when the mercury is so high.
Warmer temperatures also mean you have a smaller timeframe in which to
workout. At the moment, we’re told to
avoid being out during the hottest part of the day (often 12 pm until 3pm),
but that could have to be extended. This
may make it more difficult to exercise outdoors if you have a busy day job.
It’s not just those of us
inside, either. In the UK, we’re not as well prepared for extreme heat. Our
buildings are designed to keep the warm air inside. Your gym may not be able to install the level
of air conditioning required to keep you cool during your workout. An increase in operating costs may be
reflected in your membership, too.
Outdoor runners, walkers and
cyclists will also find that they’re inhaling more polluted air than may be
safe. Air quality levels in urban areas are declining largely due to traffic.
Hot weather can put a real strain on the human
body. It makes those with health
conditions vulnerable but it can also mean that fit and healthy people can
develop heat-related health issues. There have been several cases of even high-profile
athletes dying from complications related to heatstroke.
We also have to remember that most gyms are in urban
areas. Urban areas suffer from urban
heat island effect where the building materials and infrastructure create
literal hot spots which could be up to 5 degrees hotter than the surrounding
It would be great to see people continuing to cycle post-lockdown. Many of us will have forgotten the sense of freedom and joy of riding through neighbourhoods, along country lanes and alongside rivers the way we did as children.
Whether you’re an age-old biker or a reluctant newbie, there’s never been a better time to start cycling. COVID-19 has put the brakes on many celebrations in 2020 but there are two dates to put into your calendar for June: World Bicycle Day is June 3rd and Bike Week is running between June 6thand 14th.
For Bike Week, Cycling UK along with Cycling Scotland has put together several activities that you can participate in whilst respecting social distancing measures.
Why is Cycling Good for Us?
Cycling is great for beginners.
Most people will have mastered the basic skills as children.
It’s worth brushing up on your bike safety skills, but the actual act of riding a bike is straightforward. It’s a skill unlikely to have been forgotten even many years later.
A basic bike is relatively inexpensive to buy. Cycling has a low barrier of entry: you don’t need to spend a small fortune to get started. Bikes can often be bought second-hand and you may already have one in a shed or garage.
In 2019, the UK Government declared a climate emergency. The effects of global warming are becoming more and more visible throughout the world in everything from flooding, increased sea temperatures to drought and coral bleaching.
Cars are a huge threat to the environment. They’re one of the biggest contributors to poor air quality and carbon emissions. We all rely on them to get around but the damage they’re doing to our health and the planet cannot be understated. Cycling is one way of reducing the impact of those emissions by using peddle power instead of horsepower.
Public transport outside London can be sporadic and expensive. Cycling offers people a carbon-free way of getting around for less.
Whether you do it indoors or outdoors, cycling is one way of playing your part in saving the planet without feeling as if you’ve had to give something up.
How Can You Take Part in Bike Week?
You can still celebrate bike week even during the lockdown. The Government recently relaxed the rules on exercising outdoors so there’s no reason not to get outside and go for a bike ride.
You don’t have to go far, either. It can be a quick ride down to the shops, around a local park or a quick trip around your neighbourhood.
UK Cycling has launched 7-days of cycling to coincide with bike week. It wants people to aim to ride every day for a week and then to share their activity via a photo, video or story using #BikeWeek and #7DaysofCycling on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If you can’t do the full 7 days, don’t worry. You can join in as much or as little as you like.
Selected participants will also receive a prize.
We’re looking forward to following the hashtags this week and to see where everyone is heading for their rides. Remember to be considerate to other road and pavement users during this difficult period and ensure that your bike is safe to use. You can find bike safety tips on the UK cycling website.
It’s hard to think about anything other than COVID-19 right now.
Unfortunately, environmental challenges don’t disappear just because we’re facing a pandemic.
World Environment Day 2020 (WED) will look and feel a little different this year. With much of the world either in lockdown or adhering to some form of social distancing, it will mostly take place within digital events and platforms.
If COVID-19 has shown us anything, it’s how easily localised issues can become global emergencies.
We’re all vulnerable to Coronavirus and worryingly, we’re all vulnerable to environmental challenges, too.
What is World Environment Day?
World Environment Day is an international event that encourages people to engage with environmental issues at a local, national and international level. It’s a means of creating conversations about environmental challenges and issues and also about celebrating the diversity of life on earth.
When is World Environment Day 2020?
It’s celebrated each year on June 5th.
When Was It First Celebrated?
It was first celebrated in 1974 during the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment and has been an annual event ever since. Each year sees a different host nation and a different theme.
World Environment Day calls on everyone to do their part: consumers, businesses, celebrities, industries and governments. We all share the same living space and, as in the case of COVID-19, can be equally vulnerable to global challenges and disasters.
It’s an opportunity to have conversations with employees, employers, politicians, children and friends about environmental issues that we may be unaware of. Certainly, forest fires, coral bleaching, extinction of species and deforestation etc, can seem like someone else’s issue when you live thousands of miles away in the UK. Unfortunately, when we start seeing the effects here, it’ll be too late.
How Can Your Business Celebrate World Environment Day?
This year will be a little trickier given so many employees are furloughed or working from home. You may find yourself more concerned with keeping your business afloat than about starting a dialogue about the environment. There are some really simple things you can do, however.
You could start allowing people to work from home to save on the commute or set-up a car share.
You could encourage employees to bike into work (the Government has a scheme for this.
You could introduce recycling facilities or arrange a litter-pick.
You could pick an environmental charity to raise funds for over the next year.
How Can Everyone Else Celebrate World Environment Day
Even with social distancing measures in place, there’s still lots going on online. Visit the World Environment Day website for details about online conferences, digital speakers, virtual events and even live African safaris. You can also follow along via social media. If you have an event, then you can add it to the database.
World Environment Day celebrates the unique tapestry of life on our planet but it also wants to show us the urgency of protecting it and ensuring that other generations will be able to enjoy and benefit from the rich biodiversity of our planet.
World Environment Day on June 5th 2020 is celebrating biodiversity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many of us don’t have the freedom to explore and experience the world around us like we used to. We can’t take the holidays we want and even visiting local beauty spots has been out of bounds for many people.
Our worlds have become a lot smaller. We’re living far more in our neighbourhoods and our back gardens than before but even so near to where we live the range of plant and animal life is remarkable.
If you were to take a pen and paper and spend 10 minutes listing the different species within ten paces of your home, you’d probably be surprised at the amount of nature contributing to the area you live in.
And everything from the worms in the soil, the bees zipping between the blooms, the birds perched on the roofs and fence posts to the pine trees at the end of your street (and everything in, on, around and under) contributes to the eco-systems that we live alongside.
COVID-19 and World Environment Day
So much in nature is about balance.
What we do as a species is beginning to upset that balance.
Biodiversity has allowed us to thrive on this planet but as human activity becomes more aggressive and more short-term in its thinking and its methods, we can assume that this may not be the only global emergency we’ll face in our lifetimes.
Biological diversity or biodiversity seems too simple a term to sum up quite how incredible and unique life on earth is.
But biodiversity isn’t just about individual species and how many there are. It’s not just a checklist of things to watch out for in an Attenborough documentary, because it’s also about how each living creature contributes to the bigger picture of life on earth.
These people live in areas where food, employment, shelter, protection from flooding or drought, etc, are dependent on the local eco-system. Biodiversity loss has a devastating impact on the humans living in and alongside it.
How Can We Celebrate Biodiversity on World Environment Day?
COVID-19 means we can’t celebrate face-to-face or engage with issues in person but a lot is going on in the digital environment including online conferences, activities, competitions, tours, and even a virtual African safari.
With so many children off school right now, it’s a fantastic opportunity to introduce them to environmental issues and help them understand the value of biodiversity in an educational but fun way.
You can also join in by following #ForNature on Twitter
Biodiversity is critical to the survival of all species including our own. World Environment Day is about celebrating the incredible range of life on Earth and also educating everyone on why it’s so important to protect it.