I received an email from Liz from Conservation Volunteers Australia yesterday regarding an initiative called the Green Gym. It’s a great concept – anything to do with planting trees always sounds good to me :).
Here’s what Liz had to say about the Green Gym program.
“Climate change and the obesity epidemic are two significant challenges currently faced by Australian society. These two issues are linked in many ways as the structures that allow us to lead inactive life-styles (car and air travel, home entertainment, office work, etc.) also have destructive environmental impacts. Even gyms which encourage people to improve their health through exercise require massive amounts of power to run, which is largely generated by burning coal.
Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) has introduced the Green Gym, a programme which marries healthy living with environmental conservation. The Green Gym was developed in the UK by British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) and based on its UK success the programme is now being run in Australia.
In Australian society the Green Gym concept just makes sense. Almost 60 per cent of Australians are overweight and vast
areas of indigenous Australian bushland have been devastated. Regular volunteer involvement in practical conservation projects requires participants to use many of the same muscles and functions that would be exercised in a conventional gym. However, unlike conventional gyms the Green Gym is carbon positive. This equals positive health impacts for participants and the environment!
Green Gym volunteers are involved in various conservation activities which include removing introduced species from conservation sites, propagating native seeds, cultivating organic community farms and tree planting.
The Green Gym is great for people who are less comfortable in formal ‘gym’ cultures and is perfect for retirees, people returning to exercise and those who enjoy exercising outdoors. The Green Gym is totally free to join and no experience or prior fitness is required.
The Green Gym is currently being run in Victoria and New South Wales. To find out how you can join please call Conservation Volunteers Australia on Freecall 1800 032 501 and visit www.conservationvolunteers.com.au“
Even if you’re not in Australia, it could be a great concept to launch in your own country!