Going green has become not just a saying but a movement and lifestyle to many. College campuses all over the country are jumping on the trend, looking for new ways to go green.
Many higher education institutions throughout the U.S. have installed exercise equipment that helps generate electricity, and more are following.
Chapman University in Orange, California, Michigan State University, Tennessee Tech, and the University of South Florida have all recently installed green equipment from SportsArt Fitness. Producing energy from the external effort put forth by the exerciser, machines such as ellipticals and various cycles have replaced older equipment at these schools, converting about 75 percent of energy generated back into the electrical grid. The machines are strapped with a DC voltage booster that sends the energy back into the power grid through inverters.
SportsArt claims the products can generate up to 2,000 watts per hour.
Anita Miller, senior product manager for SportsArt Fitness, described the Green System further in a press release: “The power inverter attached to the Green System is about the size of a stereo receiver and has a 208-240VAC plug that needs to be wired to the grid for safety. To operate the system, a person would simply start exercising. A booster box connected to each cardio machine harnesses the energy expended by the exerciser and funnels it to the inverter which converts it into electricity.”
ReRev, founded by a 21-year-old Hudson Harr in 2007, has installed systems at Drexel University, James Madison University, Oregon State University, Texas State University, and the University of Florida.
Other companies, like Green Revolution, have also created similar eco-friendly products. Green Revolution was initially founded in 2007, the brainchild of conservationist and former Accenture Partner Jay Whelan.
The company states the machines can not only reduce energy costs and dependence on fossil fuels, but also help raise awareness of green issues.
The Green Revolution’s Human Dynamo, a power-producing stationary bike, can be combined with others to create a Team Dynamo, which can drive a single generator.
Green Microgym in Portland, Oregon, not only uses green fitness equipment, but also solar panels and recycled rubber floors. The gym reportedly uses about two-thirds the energy of most gyms. Green Microgym is just one of many fitness centers throughout the country that advise to a green ethic, using machines that utilize human energy.
Although there are critics that say the amount of energy is not sufficient to power 3,000-square foot gyms, the trend has definitely caught on throughout colleges and gyms around the country.