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Gyms Powered by Exercising Patrons

The Green Microgym

— August 29, 2008 — Eco
The newest gym to open in Portland, Oregon will be just as green as its lush surroundings. The Green Microgym is one of the only gyms that will take its power from a constant and considerable amount of expended energy -- the gym's patrons.

Owner Adam Boesel rigged stationary bikes with truck alternators and weed whacker motors to capture the kinetic energy from a rider's exercise--an amount that should convert into about 750 watts of power per hour.

The Green Microgym building itself offers some eco-friendly design modifications to further streamline the gym's energy use. Solar panels will generate about 3 kilowatts per hour of renewable energy. The floors are comprised of recycled rubber, marmoleum and renewable cork. Ceiling fans are EnergyStar rated, and both the fans and lights are member-controlled so that they're only on when necessary.

Double-flush toilets, non-toxic soaps and cleaning supplies, and paper towels and seat covers made from recycled content round out the eco-friendly bathroom amenities at the Green Microgym.

On the gym floor, SportsArt EcoPowr treadmills use 30% less electricity than other popular treadmill models. The team is exploring ways to capture kinetic energy from not just the stationary bikes but also the elliptical machines. And the user-controlled LCD TV's use less electricity than plasma televisions.

There are other minor details that the Green Microgym employs to set the standard for green gyms. Personal trainers often take their clients outdoors for a truly energy-free workout. Artwork from local artists is featured throughout the gym, and automated payment and billing systems reduce paper clutter for both the gym and its members.