Are you a fitness buff? Even if you aren’t faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, Planet Earth still needs your help. Starting today, you can use your exceptional physical prowess to improve environmental health. Don’t let your strength and speed go to waste! Remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Here’s what you can do:


Illustration by Jeremy Roberts.


Stop Driving to Local Destinations

If you can run 20 miles in a marathon, why are you driving to a pizza joint that’s less than a mile away? Save some gasoline and spare the atmosphere from those greenhouse emissions. You don’t need a car; you’re the Flash. Just run there! Or walk–whatever works.

For those of you who aren’t runners, there’s a clever two-wheeled device called the bicycle.

Trade in Your Snowblower for a Shovel

If you have biceps bigger than most people’s thighs and can lift twice your body weight over your head, why on earth are you bothering with a snowblower? You’re the Thing, that grumpy guy from the Fantastic Four. You don’t need a snowblower when you’ve got superhuman strength. It’s clobberin’ time!

For those of you without superhuman strength, there are some interesting alternatives to the shovel such as the Snow Wovel.


Photo via Green Head.


Put Away the Leaf Blower and Start Raking

If you have two working arms and two working legs, you can use an ingenious and highly effective tool that was brought over from Japan in 1919. It is the fan-shaped bamboo rake. With this nimble tool, you don’t even need super powers. You can also forget hearing protection gear, because the leaves will be cleared away with an almost eerie quietness. You will find many circumstances where the rake out-performs the loud, pollutive leaf blower. An extra fitness benefit is that the average person burns 307 calories per hour when raking leaves.


Ayla's Rake

bamboo rakes

Photos by Don LaVange and S. H., both on Flickr.


Thanks to your discipline and hard work, you are physically fit. You are also an environmentally aware person. It’s time to knock down the artificial compartmentalization that separates the two and merge them. They go well together.


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