Since time immemorial, young people jockey for position in their peer groups. In less enlightened ages, you had to be stronger, tougher, smarter, or more artistic to become an alpha male or female. Today, you just need to out-recycle the other guy or gal.
I kid you not. Behold a hot new trend. “Socially conscious” geeks install cameras in their garbage and recycling cans. The “smart” cameras keep an eye on their disposal habits, then analyze and report them to a social media site. The site awards points and displays them to encourage competition. Being cool has never been easier. No need to play on a team or in a rock band. Just collect recycling merit badges from the Big Brother, and you are all set.
To you, is being “green” a fashion or an expression of common sense? Here is a test. You are in the market for a new coffee maker. Do you:
- Buy one that uses disposable aluminum pods because it is endorsed by an electric-car-driving celebrity.
- Find a coffee maker that requires no pods, filters, or any other disposable supplies other than coffee grounds because it makes sense.
Environmentalism is not a cause close to my heart, but I do not like waste. Hence this blog and a few suggestions on how to make your strength training “green.”
1. Stop Buying Useless Supplements
First, stop buying unproven supplements that all end up in the toilet and then in our water supply. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the author of Antifragile, drinks only the drinks that are centuries old—water, coffee, and wine. That would be unrealistic for nutritional supplements, but at least make it a rule of thumb not to take anything that has not been around for at least a couple of decades.
And not just something that has been around, but something that has earned a strong performance and safety record. Russian athletes have been taking mumie for many decades and are still swearing by it. If you have convincing reasons to start taking adaptogens, mumie would be a fine choice. On the other hand, anything with an “X” or “Jack” in its name and a grimacing oiled-up dude on the bottle is a no-no.
2. Stop Buying Worthless Equiment
Second, stop packing landfills with worthless exercise equipment. Centuries of experience have taught us that one can meet most ambitious physical preparation goals with nothing but a barbell, a power rack, a few kettlebells, and a pull-up bar. Period.
As Nikki Shlosser, my VP of Marketing has demonstrated, even a wasteful phone book can be given a worthy purpose before it is recycled into yet another phone book.
3. Kettlebells Are Green Strength Training
Third, when you buy the above equipment, choose quality. If you get quality bells and take care of them, they will outlive you. If this is not “green,” I do not know what is. To paraphrase an ad for a Swiss watch, “You never really own a kettlebell. You merely look after it for the next generation.”