We are now in the hottest part of the summer and hardly a day passes where we don’t think about or hear about climate change. It is easy to feel helpless in the face of such a challenge, but as a business owner, there are somethings you can do.

One of the most effective things you can do is try to reduce your carbon footprint. There are a few ways you can do this. The first is to calculate your carbon footprint using an online calculator such as the TerraPass carbon footprint calculator. Once you have calculated your carbon footprint, you can take steps to reduce your impact and go carbon neutral. It is much easier and less expensive to go carbon neutral than you might think.

For most organizations, energy use is the largest source of carbon emissions and also the easiest to eliminate by switching to renewable energy – solar, wind, hydro, biomass or geothermal. Renewables may be slightly more expensive, but not as much as you would think; you can contact your local energy company to get a quote. You can also move your thermostats up or down a few degrees depending on the season, as well as set up bike racks outside your studio to encourage students and employees to bike to work. Even if you cannot switch to renewable energy – or enough to cover all your impact – you can buy renewable energy credits that accomplish the same thing.

Another powerful tool you have as a small business owner is choosing eco-friendly products. Yoga mats and blocks can be made out of several different types of materials. Many of these are petroleum derived products such as PVC plastics in mats and EVA foam in blocks. These are non-renewable resources that contribute to climate change.

The good news is there are also many sustainable, eco-friendly options such as natural rubber mats and cork blocks. These are both rapidly renewable resources and, when sourced in a sustainable manner, are not harmful to the environment.

All of these things are great marketing tools for your studio, too.It is something that will differentiate your studio from other studios and your students will be excited about it. Climate change is a global issue, but it takes all of us making small steps to help fight it.

Kaitlyn Evans is the sustainability and communications director at JadeYoga, she can be reached atke@jadeyoga.com, or 610.828.4830.