ReCycle Room owner Avian Biscoe pairs physical and environmental health at her cycling studio in Buccaneer Mall on St. Thomas
Daily News photo by LORI ABBOTTS
ST. THOMAS — January is the time for new year’s resolutions, and for many of us, health and exercise top the list. Others may vow to do more for the environment. The new Recycle Room in Buccaneer Mall, St. Thomas, offers an opportunity to do both, with its emphasis on physical and environmental health and wellbeing.
Owner Avian Biscoe has always had a passion for fitness. She is a personal trainer and at one time had a fitness column in the Virgin Islands Daily News. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y, she moved to St. Thomas 22 years ago after meeting her husband, Dr. Byron Biscoe, on a ski trip. Since then, she has raised three children, now teens, and was looking to get back out into the workforce.
“Each one of my kids had an opinion and they can make their own sandwiches now, so that was a sign,” she said. “I wanted to show them that being a mother is not the end of the world and I wanted to get back into the workforce after 16 years. I’ve really learned a lot about business doing this, and when you have a passion behind something, that’s a lot of the fuel for success.”
Indoor cycling has become a popular form of exercise throughout the country. This low impact but sometimes high intensity cardio workout helps shed fat, improves heart health and boosts muscle endurance.
“I’m not reinventing the wheel, I’m just bringing it here,” Biscoe said. “The island needed an activity that is inclusive, for ages 8 to 80. Working out together, these people become part of a tribe.”
Taking her passion for fitness and combining it with her passion for environmental consciousness, Biscoe was committed to live up to the Recycle Room name. A third of the buildout for the location was completed with recycled materials. There are floor mats made of recycled tires, wire spool tables, used PVC shelving, gently used plywood and doors, even the main lighting fixture is made from recycled water bottles. In the retail area, Recycle Room offers active wear made of 86 percent recycled plastic bottles. The water bottles that are sold are made of glass and there is a water refill station available. Officially opened three weeks ago, Recycle Room is already a Coastal Zone Management-certified eco-business.
“It’s a subtle way of bringing climate change awareness to the table,” Biscoe said. “I try to be mindful of repurposing and be conscious of consumption. There’s enough stuff in our world, but collectively we can make a change. Awareness is building momentum. For the next generation, this will be second nature to them.”
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