Tips for Making Your Studio More Eco-Friendly

Ahimsa, or non-harming, is a key tenet of yogic practice. From being kind to others to avoiding animal products, chances are most of your students have already incorporated some aspects of that ancient principle into the lives. And, they’ve come to expect a major commitment from their favorite studio to do the same. Regardless of what types of classes you offer, thinking green is more than just good for the planet—it can be a crucial differentiator in an increasingly competitive market.

Fortunately, there are plenty of simple and cost-effective tools to help you make that happen. You don’t have to be in a net-zero impact building or have solar panels on the roof to give your studio a planet-friendly edge. From one-day workshops to more visible ways to recycle, even the simplest initiatives can boost student loyalty and the studio bottom line. Here are some things you can do to green up any studio space:

Make recycling easy.

Put any recycling containers where students can easily see them. Ideally, there should be at least one in the entry or check-in area and one in the changing rooms. Make sure containers are clearly labeled to distinguish them from trash cans. A wall sign above the recycling bin is another great way to encourage students to reduce and reuse.

Retrofit your studio.

There’s a lot you do to boost energy efficiency without major structural changes. Swap out incandescent bulbs for LEDs. Repaint with low or no-VOC paints. If you have showers in your studio, look into replacing the shower heads with water conserving models.

Implement sustainable studio practices.

Instead of selling bottled water, use a dispenser or have a water fountain installed (you can invite students to make a donation). Set the thermostat down before and after classes. Leave a note on the unit so teachers know it needs to be done. Post reminders about turning studio lights off. Make sure all electronics (computers, iPod docks etc) are unplugged at the end of the day if possible.


Create a workshop.

Events are a great way to publicly go green. You could develop a single-day fundraising workshop with proceeds going to a local or global planet-friendly cause. Or, you could set up a workshop outside if you have access to a public space. Tying it to an event like Earth Day is a great marketing tool to generate buzz.

Offer eco-friendly products.

From reusable water bottles to organic clothing to sustainable mats, almost everything a student brings to class can help keep the planet healthy. If you have a store space, look for suppliers who emphasize sustainability and make sure students know about the products’ earth-friendly attributes. Even if you don’t have a store in your studio, the suppliers you work with for the studio’s mats, towels and more can send a powerful eco-message.

These are just a few simple ways to help make environmentally-friendly practices a key part of your business model. As a studio owner, it’s also up to you to make sure all of your instructors are on board. You need to have a clear handbook for studio rules (lighting, temperature etc) available where all teachers can access it, either as hard copy or online. It can also be helpful to schedule an occasional meeting with staff members to get their input on fresh sustainable ideas for the studio.

And, if you are planning a major renovation (such as replacing flooring), let students know about it. You can even create an event as a fundraiser. Put flyers up around the studio to publicize the project. Students will appreciate that you are working to make the studio more sustainable.


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