Businesses that make an effort to reduce their carbon footprint can have a huge positive impact on the environment. For yoga studios and companies of all kinds, there are many practices you can adopt to reduce your business’ carbon footprint (and you will probably save on your electrical bill in the process). From changing your studio’s lighting sources to finding ways to save paper, here are 9 simple ways to shrink your carbon footprint at work.

1. Use Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats

When making your studio more sustainable, implementing eco-friendly yoga technology is a great place to start. If your studio provides mats for students, opt for brands that sustainably and ethically source their materials and implement sustainable production standards. This can reduce the environmental impact of the products your company uses and supports brands that care about the environment.

2. Rethink Your Lighting

Does your yoga studio use standard light bulbs or could you be saving energy by switching to compact fluorescent lighting (CFL’s)? These types of bulbs use 70 percent less electricity than standard light bulbs. That means you will get the same amount of light with significantly less impact on the earth, and you will save on your electrical bill in the process.

Leveraging your studio’s natural lighting is another way to use less electricity and reduce your carbon footprint at work. If your studio has big open windows or other open spaces where light can get in, see if there is a way to use those spaces without turning on the lights.

3. Change Up Your Bathroom

The bathrooms in your yoga studio are another easy place to reduce your carbon footprint. While these may seem like small changes, they can have a big impact in the long run. Try implementing some of these strategies to make your studio’s bathroom more eco-friendly:

  • Switch to low flush toilets to reduce water
  • Use hand dryers instead of paper towels to reduce waste (or switch to compostable paper towels)
  • Implement low-flow shower heads if your studio has showers, to reduce water usage
  • Clean with non-toxic chemicals to avoid chemical pollution
  • Encourage students to take shorter showers, if your studio has showering facilities, to save water

4. Go Digital

Does your studio predominately use paper for client communications and billing? Finding places to cut out paper use and instead go digital can be hugely beneficial for reducing your yoga studio’s carbon footprint. Some places you may be able to go digital instead of using paper include:

  • Autopayments or paperless billing. If your studio sends out bills for services in the mail, consider implementing a digital billing system to save paper.
  • Digital class sign-ups and online waivers. Most studios require some form of paperwork in order for students to join. Using an online sign up system and signature platform such as DocuSign can eliminate the need to use paper.
  • Send out digital newsletters rather than print mailers. If your yoga studio prints out flyers or notices to raise awareness about events or schedule changes, consider shifting some of that information online. While a “Closed on Labor Day” sign in your window is probably still necessary, sending general announcements about promotions and events via email and social media can eliminate the need for paper.

5. Compost and Recycle

With many people coming in and out of your studio every day, a bit of trash is probably created. Making an effort to properly sort waste and keep compostable and recyclable materials out of landfills is another means to reducing your studio’s carbon footprint. If your students bring snacks or food to your studio, encourage them to dispose of food waste in the compost. Ensure your students know where they can recycle bottles or cans that they bring to class!

6. Reusable Water Bottles

Even better than recycling used water bottles, encourage your students to avoid buying plastic water bottles all together. Instead, have a water cooler or fountain in your studio from which students can refill their water. Americans use over 50 billion plastic water bottles each year, and less than a quarter of those ended up in the recycle. Rather than contributing to a huge carbon footprint, have your students opt to bring their own refillable water bottle to cut out this waste (and selling your studio’s branded water bottles is another great product to add to your studio!).

7. Temperature Control

Climate control in your studio is another area where you can reduce emissions and save some money too. Some easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint at work  in terms of climate control include:

  • Opening windows to leverage fresh air and breeze to cool your studio rather than air conditioning
  • Sealing windows and cracks where heat may escape in the winter
  • Setting your heating on a timer so it is not running all day, but instead warms up before classes and turns off when no one is using the studio.

8. Eco Commute

There are many ways to cut down on the amount of waste produced within your studio, but what about the impact of students getting to and from your studio? While sometimes cars are necessarily getting from point A to point B, encouraging your students to find other means of getting to class, or even carpooling, is a simple way to reduce carbon emissions from cars in your neighborhood. This may mean creating a forum for community carpools, making sure there is ample bike storage space at your studio, or giving students some form of incentive if they walk, bike, or take the bus to class.

9. Encourage Students to Bring These Sustainable Practices Home

Finally, one of the strongest ways to reduce not only your studio’s carbon footprint also your community’s eco-footprint is to build an eco-friendly culture among your students. From composting and recycling, to changing out light bulbs, and choosing sustainable food brands, there are many ways for your students to adopt simple ways to reduce their carbon footprints into their everyday lives. Finding ways to talk to your students about being eco-friendly in every aspect of their lives can do a world of good in terms of reducing eco-footprints.

Megan Herndon

Megan is a Seattle-based writer who covers health and wellness. She has worked in content marketing and journalism for a number of organizations including The Seattle Globalist, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and The Jakarta Globe. She has a BA in journalism from the University of Washington and is currently working on her second UW degree, a Master of Communication and Digital Media. Born and raised in Hawaii and currently embracing the Pacific Northwest lifestyle, Megan loves all things active and outdoors including hiking, camping, outrigger canoe paddling, and yoga.

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