Eco-Friendly Green Walking Gear

Green up your walking with these eco-friendly items of walking gear. My challenge was to find walking clothing that provided high-performance sweat-wicking action while being eco-friendly. I don't wear organic cotton or hemp because they don't wick away sweat. Several manufacturers are using recycled fibers and newly-engineered natural materials to produce high-performance exercise wear that is eco-friendly.

1
Camelbak Water Bottle

Drinking Water from Water Bottle
Drinking from Water Bottle. Dave and Les Jacobs/Blend Images/Getty Images

Save money and save the earth by ending the disposable water bottle habit. Camelbak produces many different designs of water bottles, and all are BPA-free. The Performance bottle has a drinking straw, so you don't have to tilt the bottle to take a swig. They have a wide mouth so you can add ice, and lock off securely so you don't have any spills. I like the Podium sports bottle models for easy carrying on my walks.

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2
tasc Performance - Bamboo Workout Clothing

tasc Performance Street V-Neck
tasc Performance Street V-Neck. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

If you want to wear a natural fiber but still get the sweat-wicking benefits of polyester tech fabric, switch to bamboo. The fabric developed by tasc Performance wicks moisture as well as polyester, and can keep your cool in summer and warm in winter. I was so pleased with the first bamboo blend shirt I tried that I bought another immediately, and then a pair of shorts, and then a bathrobe. Now I'm loving their soft sports bras. Bamboo can be grown sustainably and can use less irrigation and pesticide than cotton. See them at TascPerformance.com

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3
Cozy Orange Eco-activewear

Cozy Orange Eco-activewear
Cozy Orange Eco-activewear. Cozy Orange

The soft, sweat-wicking fabric in Cozy Orange's Cozy-Eco Collection is made with recycled polyester. They have great fun styles of tanks, leggings, shorts, pants, and capris.Cozy Orange also donates to Water.org to provide safe and clean water for all and to the global non-profit World Vison, which aids entrepreneurs in third world countries. See them at CozyOrange.com

4
Teko EcoMerino and EcoWash Wool Socks

Teko Organic Merino Wool Sock
Teko Organic Merino Wool Sock. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

Teko makes environmentally-friendly socks. For those who prefer wool socks, these are made of EcoMerino wool from a fifth-generation sustainable farm in Tasmania. Their EcoWash wool is processed to be non-shrinking by using ozone rather than the chlorine used in that process by other manufacturers. They use recycled polyester in their blends. The socks are well-engineered for walking and hiking, but I find the fit a bit narrow. See them at Tekoforlife.com

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5
Saucony Originals Jazz Low Pro Vegan

Saucony Jazz Low Pro Vegan Shoes
Saucony Jazz Low Pro Vegan Shoes. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

Most athletic shoes use leather or other animal-based products. This retro running shoe is made of canvas and rubber. The low heel is good for walking. While leather and animal-based glues are only a byproduct of beef production, the "green" objection to beef production is its enormous use of resources and the poor living conditions of animals in large feed lots.

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6
Under Armor UA Catalyst T-Shirts

Under Armour Catalyst Shirt
Under Armour Catalyst Shirt. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

I insist on wearing sweat-wicking fibers for comfort and performance. Under Armor makes the Catalyst shirts in long-sleeve and short sleeve designs. The soft, sweat-wicking fabric is made from recycled plastic bottles. They also incorporate odor-control technology. That's important in a polyester shirt -- I have many that I'm too embarrassed to wear because it's hard to get the body odor out of them. Then I end up having to put them in the trash, which isn't eco-friendly. These shirts will also help save your skin from the sun with a UPF of 50. See them at UnderArmour.com

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7
Million Mile Light

Million Mile Light
Million Mile Light. FlipBelt

You need to be visible when walking at dawn, dusk or after dark. The Million Mile light flashes with each step and needs no batteries - ever! You never have to recharge it. Just clip it on and power it with your own steps. Reduce your need for electricity to recharge or filling the landfills with batteries.

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8
Patagonia Capilene Zip-Neck Shirts

Patagonia Capilene 4 Expedition Weight 1/4-Zip Hooded Top
Patagonia Capilene 4 Expedition Weight 1/4-Zip Hooded Top. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

Patagonia says that over 86 million plastic bottles have been recycled to produce their Capilene base layer shirts, fleece jackets, and other items using polyester. Their zip-neck Capilene shirts are available in three different weights to match your needs for a breathable, sweat-wicking base layer. I love the zip neck to give me the option of zipping it up when it is cooler and opening it when I've warmed up. See them at Patagonia.com

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9
De Odor Works Natural Deodorant Alternative

De Odor Works Natural Deodorant Alternative
De Odor Works Natural Deodorant Alternative. Courtesy of Amazon.com

This stainless steel bar can be used for your underarms, feet, and groin to reduce body odor. The metal, plus water, is said to remove the stinky sulfur compounds. With this bar, you don't have the plastic deodorant container to dispose of. One bar should last pretty much forever. I like it because I am allergic to the scents they put into most deodorants and antiperspirants, and it can be hard to find unscented versions. Plus -- for travel, it won't leak in your luggage or put you over your carry-on liquid limits. See it at Deodorworks.com

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10
Used Exercise Gear

Smooth 9.25 HR Treadmill
Smooth 9.25 HR Treadmill. Smooth Fitness

Reduce, reuse, recycle. You will save money as well as follow that ethic by shopping for pre-owned treadmills, free weights, exercise balls and other home gym gear. Go local by keeping your eyes open as you pass garage sales on your fitness walks in your neighborhood and browsing Craigslist and Freecycle. Thrift stores are another good source for used exercise clothing and equipment.

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11
Homemade Trail Mix

Trail Mix
Trail Mix. Nancy Nehring/E+/Getty Images

Commercial energy bars consume a lot of resources. Even those that are all natural must be packaged and shipped and stocked. You can save a lot of money as well as reduce the carbon footprint of your energy snacks by mixing your own trail mix. What you need are nuts for protein and healthy oils and dried fruit for carbohydrates for exercise energy. You can find these in the bulk food bins at your supermarket for far cheaper than packaged energy bars or packaged trail mix. If you want to go local, browse a farmer's market in season for local nuts and fruit you can dry or purchase already dried.

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