March 18 is World Recycling Day, which may just be my second favorite holiday after Earth Day. To celebrate our commitment to reduce, reuse, and recycle, I created a unique and super fun circuit workout specifically for the occasion.
World Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Day
While today’s focus is on the third RRR, recycling isn’t the #1 recommended action to take to help control waste. There’s a reason it’s not Recycle, Reduce, Reuse. The most important and vital action we can take is to reduce the waste we consume and throw away. This means refusing plastic bags, looking for items that don’t have packaging, and even reducing our impact. Driving less (walking or biking to your destination when possible) and conserving energy help reduce waste as well.
The next R is still not recycling. It’s reuse. As in, don’t toss it away, find a second use for your items. Donate old toys, clothes, and books rather than tossing them. Shop at thrift stores before buying new. There are even new social platforms that help you repurpose items, such as NextDoor. Besides reducing our waste, keeping items out of the landfills is the second best thing we can do for the planet.
Now, finally, we come to Recycle. The third R. Recycling is different than reusing in that it’s actually a process of turning one product into another. Why is this at the bottom of the Three R’s?
Recycling uses energy to process products. It’s not as efficient as reducing our waste, and can have more of an impact on the environment than reusing or repurposing items.
Recycling Isn't Perfect, But It Helps
If recycling isn’t the end all be all, then why celebrate it?
I feel anything we can do to make a difference is great. If you cannot find a product you are looking for without packaging, look for packaging that is least wasteful. Look for recyclable items. It’s the idea of cutting down our impact on the environment and the health of the planet as much as we are able. Not everyone can buy all their groceries with zero-waste. I’ll be the first to admit I can’t do it perfectly. But by adopting the Hummingbird mentality, and doing what I can, I seek out the next best thing.
And let me also state for the record, sometimes recycling isn’t easy. People may not have easy access to a recycling center, or their local center doesn’t accept all the types of items we need to recycle. Does this mean we shouldn’t celebrate the efforts we put forth to do what we can? Of course we need to celebrate! And World Recycling Day is just the day to do that. Celebrate what we can do, the difference we are making with simple actions, or with actions that take great effort.
When I first started ZooFit, one of my favorite activities was finding new ways to use old items that normally get thrown away. I call this the MacGyver effect (the old 80’s television show of the genius problem solver who turned ordinary objects into life-saving devices). I’m pretty sure every zookeeper possesses the MacGyver ingenuity when it comes to enrichment. My first creation for ZooFit was so ridiculously simple. I used broken rake handles to perform mobility exercises before work.
Then I moved onto more complex crafts, like creating a homemade medicine ball. Being a zookeeper, we didn’t have much of a budget for at-home gym equipment. But I figured out a way to repurpose a deflated basketball into a weighted ball filling it with sand and covering it with duct-tape. From there, my creativity took over.
Now my equipment consists of dozens of medicine balls, a few sandbags, ab mats, agility ladders, and even more. This is one of my favorite aspects of ZooFit, reusing household items that normally get thrown away and creating a more dynamic element to your workout. I’ve also noticed people use their equipment more often when they make it rather than when they buy it. There’s a sense of pride in doing it yourself that carries over into your workouts.
Reuse, Recycle, Reduce Your Waist
In 2018, I wrote Reuse, Recycle, Reduce Your Waist to share my DIY workout equipment. What is so fantastic about this book is not just making your own equipment and saving money. You are making a positive impact on the environment by reusing old items. Ripped jeans can’t get donated, so we turned them into a sandbag. Our local recycling center didn’t accept plastic lids, so I created an agility ladder.
So, now, for World Recycling Day, I wanted to share a special workout I created using items you can make in Reuse, Recycle, Reduce Your Waist.
Is this a shameless ploy to get you to buy my book? Well, a little. But I really just want to show you how completely versatile these pieces of equipment can be. And it’s the perfect workout to celebrate World Recycling Day.
So let’s have some fun, living green and training positive.
Watch the video and play along, or grab your own equipment and enjoy the Recycled Circuit on your own.
3 Rounds, 6 Stations, 1-minute at each station (10 seconds between each station)
- Agility Ladder- Bee Lines
- Ab Mat- Zebra Kicks
- Sandbag- Plank Pass
- Dumbbells- Arnold Press
- Medicine Ball- Overhead Sit-ups
- Dowel Rod- Bar Hops
Rest one minute when you complete a round (all 6 stations), then repeat for 3 rounds. Have fun reducing your waste while you reduce your waist!
Special Deal for World Recycling Day
From right now until the end of March, you can grab your copy of Reuse, Recycle, Reduce Your Waist and get $5! Shop on ZooFit and use coupon code TREES2021 at checkout. Hurry, this deal ends March 31! Get your copy today and make World Recycling Day every day!