Environmental sustainability is a hot topic and fast becoming a way of life in all corners of California.
That reality includes the fitness industry.
Water conservation decisions can be difficult as the state continues to cope with a severe drought and no reasonable end in sight.
Take Almaden Valley Athletic Club (AVAC), for example. The club came up with a creative solution to conserve water by painting their dying lawn green at the cost of nearly $4,000 last summer. The next decision was even more expensive: replacing half of the field with synthetic turf at the cost of $50,000.
The tradeoff in price comes with a decade of durability and decreased costs in water usage. In California, taking steps toward water conservation is an effective way to avoid the $500 fine levied on potential water abusers.
Having a green lawn may be nice, but conservation naturally becomes a more serious conversation with the threat of fines constantly looming. The fines could become more expensive if California Governor Jerry Brown gets his way and his call for $10,000 penalties hits the most serious water abusers.
As with any major business decision, the spending debate always comes down to initial cost vs. return on investment. For some, the choice for environmental sustainability and feeling of public goodwill will outweigh the up-front costs.
Not every club operator has the money for major renovations, though steps such as The Sporting Club's conversion to low-flow showerheads are budget solutions that can help the environment and the water bill's bottom line.
Does your club value environmental sustainability? Do your members value it?
Please share your thoughts and club sustainability experiences in the comment section below.