“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
– David Brower
One For All Hot Yoga is a sustainably designed studio, and finding ways to live more sustainably is important to us, because the way we use our resources today affects their availability for future generations. Since taking over the premises, we have dramatically decreased the annual energy consumption by putting best practices into action, and this not only helps the planet but also has the bonus of reducing our overheads at the same time. But how can a hot Yoga studio be sustainable? The two main factors here are we purchase our electricity and gas from a supplier that provides one hundred percent renewable energy and unlike many similar businesses we do not sell single-use bottled water! In addition, all the essential features of the studio including the ventilation system, the shower heads, bamboo floors, the double-glazed windows and the LED light bulbs have been selected with regards to their environmental impact. We do not want to live without life’s luxuries but we do want to live green, and for us that means being aware of our resource consumption and having good waste management systems.
We are constantly making choices in our lives that affect the environment, the climate, wild animals and plantlife. Reducing meat consumption, reusing shopping bags, and ditching single-use plastic water bottles, bags and straws can reduce our environmental footprint and improve the health of the planet. Just a few simple steps such as cutting down your plastic waste and avoiding products made from or packaged in plastic wherever possible contributes to the global effort to go #plasticfree. Those plastic bottles alone are notoriously harmful to communities and wildlife so skipping the bottled water is a really good start to living sustainably. Products made from sustainable materials like bamboo avoid contributing to the endangerment of wildlife and by shopping more conscientiously we can start to boycott products that endanger wildlife all together. Starting with what we eat and going so far as to how many children we decide to have, there’s a lot we can do to live sustainably, reducing our environmental footprint to leave more room for plants and animals.
There are so many ways you can live a life that’s greener and happier. Anyone and everyone can create good habits to live sustainably at home, as well as when travelling, shopping or at work. A quick online search will come up with thousands of articles, videos and blogs published by both companies and individuals who want to publicly share the efforts they’re making to be more sustainable. You may have already adopted some of these opportunities to help mother nature, which is fantastic. The best advice we can give is to start small with these three simple swaps:
- Water bottle: as well as wasting money, this single-use item turns to trash ready for landfill in just a few swigs. With one million bottles of water being bought each minute globally, it is well worth switching to a reusable bottle and look out for water fountains around public spaces or fill up in a cafe or coffee shop. This means you can still have fresh water on-the-go, whilst drastically reducing the amount of plastic going into landfill. Bringing your own bottle around with you will ‘train’ you to be on the lookout for places to refill whilst also staying hydrated as an added bonus. Use portable purifiers or activated charcoal if you are concerned about water quality.
- Smart Cup: if you love your coffee on-the-go you are unfortunately contributing to the billions of disposable coffee cups that are thrown away each year. A bamboo travel cup is much more sustainable or if you’re willing to spend a bit more, a king size thermos could last you for decades. Do some research and make it a conscious investment to suit your personal tastes. And best of all, unlike the disposables, these cups have smart spill-resistant lids – so no more arriving at work with a coffee-stained shirt!
- Choose sustainable materials: first and foremost this means choosing materials that can be washed and reused as opposed to items that are used once and chucked out for example nappies, (although I admit we use disposable nappies for Hera, but they are 100% biodegradable!), face cloths, soap bars as opposed to pumps, small snack items that don’t come individually wrapped etc. I actually struggled with this one at first but then I got creative, for example using squares of my old cut-up pyjamas to wipe Hera down rather than go through metres of kitchen roll or baby wipes that despite being biodegradable will inevitably end up in landfills. Choosing sustainable materials also applies to bigger purchases, like our decision to use bamboo floors at the studio. Once I learned that bamboo can be sustainably harvested I realised I could get a number of household products and furniture made of the stuff, including bamboo knickers. You can also choose sustainably when it comes to search engines, for example Ecosia is an online search engine and app that uses 80% of its profits to plant trees around the world.
If you’re super passionate about living sustainably you can get politically involved in your community and at national level, but these three swaps are reasonable choices that all of us can make. The key is to remain alert and aware. For example, even though the water from your faucet is practically free and much city water has won quality tests and taste tests against name brand water, bottled water companies will continue to try to give tap water a bad name in order to make a profit. And one of the most environmentally destructive industries on the planet is that of meat production. But if you’re not ready to make the leap into vegetarian or veganism, then just remember cutting down on your meat consumption is still a great opportunity to improve the health of the planet.