Team info

Chirag Daryanani


The challenge

In the Netherlands the average amount of exercise time per week is about 12.3 hours, which is the highest across all countries! About 20% of people in the Netherlands have a gym membership and with the increase in consciousness of health this number is rapidly growing. Simultaneously, sustainability is a growing concern and is starting to become a central discussion point around all businesses and industries. However, one industry that has been looked over by many when it comes to sustainability is the fitness industry. Gyms typically use a lot of electricity. The main culprits when it comes to electricity usage in gym are; the power used for exercise equipment, heating, lighting, air conditions etc. In addition many gyms have many screens and displays of which some of them are usually frivolous. It isn’t just electricity that is an issue in gyms, the water usage also plays a huge role. According to a study by the international health, racquet and sports club association, the average commercial gym facility uses approximately 35000 gallons of water a month. This figure can reach a whopping 100,000 gallons a month for bigger commercial gyms. In addition to the electricity and water usage, gyms also contain a lot of equipment. One piece of equipment can last between 7 to 10 years and with rising need for better gym equipment this number can drastically drop. But we never stop to think about what happens to the equipment after its lifespan. And obviously because this equipment is being used by many people, it would need to get cleaned. After the shock of covid-19, cleanthiness has become of utmost importance. Since most people sweat during their workouts the bacteria as u can imagine spreads quite quickly. One study by FitRated that found, on average, exercise bikes have 39 times more bacteria on them than a reusable cafeteria tray, and free weights have 362 times more bacteria than a treadmill. Nobody wants to get sick from touching dirty equipment, so gyms use strong chemical cleaners to reduce the risk to members, but cleaning equipment can be environmentally damaging. Chemicals from these cleaners can easily get washed into water sources like streams and rivers and become significant pollutants. And it’s not just the environmental impact but also the impact these cleaners can have on people’s lungs. One group of researchers found that people using commercial cleaners are exposed to ‘as much particle pollutants as if they were sitting beside a public road. We may not realize it but gyms as they are now have quite the negative impact on our environment.

The solution

An Idea to address this problem is a sustainable gym. What is a sustainable gym exactly? A sustainable gym is a gym where the equipment's itself re made of recyclable materials. examples of sustainable gym equipment are: weight handles, benches, cardio equipment such as treadmills and rowing machines et. all made out of sustainable harvested wood recyclable plastic and bamboo In addition to using sustainable materials, we must also make sure that the materials are long lasting. this way we would not have to constantly purchase new equipment and get rid of the old equipment. However there will come a time where the equipment will be worn out. When this happens it would be much easier to recycle these equipment instead of dumping them in the dump. Making equipment recyclable is not the only way that gym equipment can help EcoFit in being more sustainable. In addition to using sustainable materials EcoFit can purchase cardio equipment that generate power instead of consuming power. A couple of examples are Cycles that generate power while the consumer uses it and also rowing machines that generates power when the consumer uses the equipment. Gym equipment is only of many aspects where EcoFit will aim to be more sustainable. Another aspect which is probably the most important aspect that EcoFit will be the energy consumption. Commercial gyms tend to obtain their energy from regular non-sustainable sources. In EcoFit we will invest in generating our own energy from solar panels, wind turbines and the above mentioned gym equipment. This will reduce dependence on fossil fuels and decrease carbon footprint. While investing in sustainable energy sources we also aim to reduce energy waste in the gym itself. Regular commercial gyms tend to waste a lot of energy due to bright lighting, TVs and other electronic equipment that can be avoided. In EcoFit we will invest in energy efficient lighting, Automatic shut off for equipment not being used etc. With regards to tackling water waste, EcoFit will conserve water by installing low flow shower heads, faucets, and toilets and also use recycled water for cleaning and for toilets. In EcoFit we will not only tackle sustainability issues inside the gym, but also sustainability issues outside the gym. Firstly EcoFit gyms will be placed near areas with a lot of public transport options for easier access with public transport. Secondly EcoFit can partner up and promote carpooling apps by offering discounts to members who make use of the app. Lastly, we will focus on the construction of the building itself. In the construction process we aim to primarily make use of eco-friendly materials such as recycled or sustainable wood which reduces the need for new wood to be harvested. Low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) paints which have lower levels of the harmful chemicals found in regular paint, which makes them a more eco-friendly option. And we will also have sustainable flooring which can be made out of bamboo or recycled rubber. These materials are durable, long lasting, and can be recycled at the end of their lifespan. After nearly 3 years in International Business Administration i have learned that there are a few ways which will make it more satisfying to gain and retain members. One of these methods is with the help of an app where there will be segments which states multiple statistics. 1. the amount of times that they have gone to the gym. 2. The environmental impact they have while being a member at EcoFit. 3. A social menus that will display all the friendships they have formed in the gym. because of this it would become easier to carpool with other members and also train together with peers. 4. a reward points system where members will be able to receive points by performing certain activities like delivering plastic bottles. This would be helpful because of the fact that visual representation is the best way to motivate members.

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