Walking into the BLiSS Ann Green Yoga studio in Barrie, customers quickly become aware of how sustainable principles are incorporated into daily operations to create an environment that supports both human and environmental health.
The décor of the studio is the first indicator of the business’ commitment to the environment and health. Building materials used to renovate the studio space include flooring, shelving and posts made from re-purposed barn material. A station to refill beverage bottles with reverse osmosis water sits on the front counter. Reusable mason jars are available and disposable water bottles are not allowed. Locally-sourced jewelry and body care products are for sale. Yoga mats for sale are durable to minimize landfill waste, and they and are made of non-toxic PVC. Products for sale are sourced in Canada—as locally as possible.
The use of environmentally-friendly cleaning products at BLiSS Ann Green Yoga helps protect the environment, the health of customers using the facility, and workers responsible for cleaning. BLiSS uses a complete line of environmentally-friendly cleaners that extend from floor cleaners, to room cleaners, to laundry detergent. Cleaning materials are purchased in concentrated form, and the staff use smaller reusable bottles to mix concentrate with water prior to use. Steam is used as a sanitizer whenever appropriate. Reusable/re-purposed cleaning cloths are used and laundry is hung to dry. Hot water is only used for laundry when needed to ensure sanitation. In the winter, low impact ice melter is used to minimize environmental impacts and to stop salt from damaging indoor flooring and the exterior of the building.
A majority of the lighting in the studio makes use of LED bulbs. Occupancy sensors, low flow toilets, a programmable thermostat and ceiling fans help make the studio energy efficient. Recyclable waste materials are separated, but due to the widespread use of reusable materials, the studio does not generate much waste.
Heating in the hot yoga studio makes use of radiant ceiling heating, which –according to US Department of Energy —is generally more efficient then baseboard heating and forced-air heating because heat is not lost through ducts.
Customers are engaged in conservation practices through the use of signage, reminders, and general studio policies. Water conservation is a focus, as is waste minimization. Bike racks are available near studio entrances to encourage sustainable transportation.
Management and staff at BLiSS Ann Green Yoga not only support the well-being of customers, they also consider the health of the natural environment.
About The Author – Aileen MacMillan holds an Honours Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree from the University of Waterloo, and has worked as an independent consultant on environmental projects related to waste management, water quality protection, and environmental education. She has many years of experience working in small business and working collaboratively with teams and individual stakeholders.