As we all know, times are tough for everyone right now. Whether that’s food prices, mortgage or rent costs, the fuel you put in your car or how much it costs to heat and power your home – everyone’s feeling the pinch.
What is ‘Everyone is Reducing Carbon’?
We’re sharing what we’re doing to reduce the significant running costs and environmental impact that one of our leisure centres has, and how you can help, as well as giving you ideas of how to reduce your running costs and carbon emissions at home.
For each focus, we will be sharing with you exactly what we’re doing to help save energy, reduce water consumption, recycling more waste and to improve our green travel credentials. We’ll also be asking you to help us out along the way – pointing out where we can improve and if there’s anything we’re not doing.
What are we doing?
In order to help reduce our carbon emissions, we’ll be saving energy, reducing our water consumption, increasing the amount of waste we recycle and encouraging green travel to and from our centres.
In order to help achieve this we will… be implementing a number of initiatives. These can be small things – turning TVs off, rather than leaving them on stand-by, or making sure lights are switched off in an empty room. The average leisure centre is an enormous consumer of electricity – using the same amount of power as 277 homes per day, so every little helps in this regard!
Alongside this, we will also be keeping our air-conditioning thermostats at a constant temperature to help reduce power usage (and, subsequently, our carbon footprint). These are just a few of the many steps we’ll be taking to help reduce our centres’ power usage.
We’ll also be looking to reduce our water usage by encouraging our colleagues to not use any more… water than is necessary, switching taps off properly, only using hot water where absolutely necessary and ensuring all dishwashers are fully loaded before using them.
When it comes to recycling, our biggest focus is on reducing the number of single-use paper cups …our cafes use. We will be encouraging customers – that’s you – to choose a porcelain cup where possible for your hot drinks.
Additionally, we’ll also be encouraging our colleagues to bring a reusable drinks bottles to work with them, rather than single use drinks bottles or cartons. These measures, implemented across all 220+ sites across the country, will significantly reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill and will make a real impact.
Another great way to reduce our carbon footprint is to change they way we travel to and from our …centres. As a company, we’ll be encouraging colleagues to do a number of things to reduce the carbon emissions that arise from their commutes from work. These include things such as car sharing, cycling – and taking advantage of our cycle to work scheme which can get you a hefty discount off a brand-new bike – as well as encouraging those who can to take public transport to and from work at the centre. We also encourage our members to use the “How to Find Us” link on each centre’s webpage, to check out the public transportation routes, or cycling routes to our centre, making your time with us greener!
We’ve also teamed up with chef Chris Baber to bring a range of energy and food-waste saving recipe ideas, all of which use simple and relatively inexpensive ingredients – many of which are store cupboard or fridge staples anyway. These are perfect for using up left overs and reducing your left-overs, while they won’t use a huge amount of gas or electricity to cook, either.
What can you do to help?
If we are going to achieve as much as we want to, however, we are going to need your help. Don’t worry, it’s nothing dramatic, but as the tag line for the popular supermarket goes, every little helps – and everyone could do with a little help at the moment.
We realise there’s not an awful lot we can ask you to do to help us save energy, other than perha…ps be vigilant and, on occasion, a little bit patient. For example, if you see a door or window left open for no apparent reason, then please report it to an Everyone Active colleague who’ll make sure it’s closed (unless it was left open for a reason). Similarly, if you see a light left on in an empty room, let us know and we’ll get it sorted. These may seem like small things, but they all add up!
As with electricity, with water, we’re on the look out for waste. For example, the average shower uses a massive 90 litres of water. By having a 5-minute shower can make an enormous difference. Also, if you see any leaks in any part of the plumbing, please make sure you report them to a colleague, who’ll make sure it gets sorted. Additionally, try and make sure you turn off any taps you’ve been using fully and if you can’t, or the tap is malfunctioning, please report it to a colleague who will make sure it is fixed.
If you’re deciding to enjoy a hot drink in one of our cafes (and who can blame you?) we’ll be enc…ouraging you to drink from a porcelain cup, rather than a single-use cup. We won’t charge you extra – we want you to do it! If you’re not staying in for your cup of tea or coffee, the why not put it in a re-usable mug? You’ll get a 10% discount this way!
We’ll also be asking you to make more use of the recycling bins dotted around each centre, as well as using reusable drinks bottles when you come and use the gym or attend a group exercise class, rather than a single use plastic bottle.
If you’ve got a gym partner, why not share the drive to the centre? It’ll just about halve both y…our fuel costs and your carbon emissions. Alternatively, if you live close enough, you could cycle to the centre and, by the time you’ve cycled in, you will have done much of your warm up for your gym or group exercise class, so you can get straight into it! Many of our sites also have bike racks, so you can store your bicycle while you’re in the centre.