When designed with intention and awareness, every yoga studio has the potential to not only bring mind and body into alignment, but also to positively impact the environment. Our personal and collective well-being is inextricably linked to how we care for the planet, so the question is, how can studio owners lead the way in setting eco-friendly examples? It’s not enough to only take care of your staff and students; the yoga community has the opportunity to create ‘greener,’ more mindful practices that benefit the greater good. Below are tried, proven and easy tips for greening your space:
Non-toxic Cleaning Products
If you do only one thing, using earth-friendly products is it. Using these products is a great way to integrate clean practices into a studio. Be sure to vet the ingredient lists of your current cleaning products. Here are some toxic ingredients to look out for and stay away from:
- Ethylene glycol monobutyl acetate
- Sodium hypochlorite
- Trisodium phosphate
For studio owners looking to make their own cleaning formulas, start simple. Invest in glass spray bottles that won’t degrade or leach like plastic. Here are two of my favorite recipes to get started with:
All Purpose Cleaner
Half a cup of white vinegar mixed with two tablespoons of baking soda is a great natural cleaner and will take care of most surface cleaning needs. Add up to 10 drops of lavender, tea tree, or lemon oil to give the mixture extra scent and antimicrobial powers.
Ten drops of tea tree oil in a 16-ounce spray bottle of water makes for a great, natural mat cleaner that will leave everything smelling fresh.
Pro Tip: Remember to swap out paper products like paper towels for cloth swatches that can be cleaned and reused whenever possible.
Invest in Easy-to-Care-for, Air-Purifying Plants
Plants make everyone happy. And yogis will appreciate a nice green touch to the studio. It’s easy to find hardy indoor plants that are low maintenance and easy to care for. Remember to consider the lighting in a space before filling it with plants. Here are a few suggested sprouts to start with:
- Philodendron: low or medium light
- Dracaena: medium filtered indoor light
- Sansevieria trifasciata (snake plant): low to medium light
- Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant): medium to bright light
- Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ plant): medium to bright indirect light
Pro tip: Seek out a local seller to purchase plants from or find a gardening community nearby to trade for cuttings.
Retail Space Decisions
Retail in a yoga studio is an opportunity to implement green practices. Start with products from companies with an eco-focus. This can mean anything from ethical manufacturing practices to locally sourced materials, or products that use natural fibers instead of synthetic ones.
Check out the company mission statement or core values. Businesses that are environmentally minded will have it in hard copy. And keep a lookout for companies with a B-corp status. That means the company is committed to making responsible decisions that benefit the world, not just their own profit margins.
Making time to research sustainable practices and identify easy ways to implement them can have a ripple effect in your community. Don’t be afraid to start small and see where it takes you.
Courtney Tysell is a yogi, landscape designer and the COO of Mache, eco-furniture for healthy habits. Visit @hey.mache and heymache.com to learn more.