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With this focus on health in mind, it seems an obvious leap for health clubs to take a front running position in the world’s efforts to go green. When you think about “going green” one of the biggest drivers in such efforts is the health of our planet and the health of those of us who live here. For example, going green seeks to decrease pollution to keep our atmosphere healthier and to decrease toxins in our environment, such as those coming from cleansers and such. Many clubs are approaching this challenge head on!
Often, as many businesses have found, efforts to green a company and engage in sustainable business can actually have a positive impact on the bottom line. In short, going green can be a way to fight the negative impact of recession, trimming the fat from a budget as well as the gyms members, and encouraging people to sign up for membership even in these financially lean times.
Following is a list of five ways that health clubs can fight the problems with our economy by employing sustainable business practices:
1) Drive short-term operating costs down with sustainable practices.
A great health clubs can go green and save money is to make some changes in how your clubs run from day to day. One of the highest operating costs of any business is electricity, so lower your electricity use. Turn of lights in non-essential areas or turn on only every other row of lights in large areas such as gyms and swimming pools. Install dimmer switches on lights and keep lights at half brightness. You will be amazed at how much electricity you can save by just turning down the lights; this is good for the environment and your bottom line.
2) Drive long-term costs down with sustainable practices.
Make quick changes now that do not cost too much but will pay off in the long-run. For example, changing your swimming pool over from chlorine to salt is inexpensive. However, over the year it can save you hundreds of dollars in chlorine and it is far healthier for the environment and your swimming clients. Recycling programs, switching from paper towels to hand dryers and other small changes can also save health clubs money in the long run.
3) Partner with other organizations to accomplish green initiatives and cross advertise.
Engage in simple green initiatives that are good for the environment and that you can use to generate advertising and consumer enthusiasm; do these things with a local partner so you can both share any expenses and benefit from cross advertising. For example, if you have a local smoothie shop nearby, partner with them to have both your staffs work on an Earth Day park clean-up. Then, advertise your efforts at both locations. In this way you both have something to talk about and a free place to solicit customers. In each of your locations you can post simple signs to advertise your green efforts and your cooperation with the other company. In this way you drive the smoothie shop’s customers to you and they get your customers to have awareness of them.
4) Ensure your green efforts are successful by educating staff on your green initiatives.
Going green involves leadership setting goals, but it also relies on the employees to follow through. Ensure that your health club employees understand what your green initiatives are and what their role is in ensuring the success of each project. Also, be sure they understand the value of going green and can answer any questions about it that customers may ask.
5) Drive up membership by educating your clients.
Going green is a laudable goal in and of itself. However, to make it most effective you need to tell people what you are doing. In today’s world many people truly care about the environment, or at least care enough to be impressed by a company who is making some efforts at sustainability and improving our world. Take advantage of that; let your customers know about your green efforts. Post it on your website, with thorough details about all your efforts and the progress you are making. Put it on your advertisements and in displays on your exterior windows. Tell the world that you are green health club!Be a Green Organization
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