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Eco Inside Out

Like most people I have been considering what lifestyle changes I can make to leave a lighter footprint on our beautiful planet. Naturally this has extended to my work life, so I thought I would let you know about some of the things we are doing at Acanthus to make ourselves more environmentally friendly.

Being concerned about the environment is very much in keeping with yogic philosophy. Several of Patanjali’s Yamas and Niyamas lead us to living a simpler life, thinking about the choices we make and the impact we have on thet earth. For example, we learn about the principle of Ahimsa, meaning non-harm, not just to ourselves or other people, but it’s also about not harming the environment, and all the other flora and fauna that make up the delicate ecological system. Everything is sacred, to be respected and cared for.

I also try to keep in mind Gandhi’s famous quote: “there is enough on Earth for everybody’s need, but not enough for everybody’s greed“.

At Acanthus I started with the really big change – swapping the gas cabinets and electric heaters for infrared heating. It’s a big room for us to keep warm so I felt that anything we could do to reduce our reliance on polluting heaters was worth it. Of course the infrared heating still uses electricity, but it uses a lot less than the electric heaters, and it is not kicking out fumes like the gas cabinets. Plus they work on thermostat and a timer, so that we are not wasting energy if nobody is using the studio. To help us further retain the heat, I have had fitted draft excluders to the bottom of doors and key hole covers (amazing the draft that comes through a key hole!), plus had blinds fitted which helps keep the drafts out from the big windows. I am now looking at how I can block the opening to the bar area, again to reduce any drafts.

My next big task is changing the lighting. We’re slowly working our way around the studio, changing our existing lamps to more efficient LED lamps. The bathroom and office lights have already been swapped. Luckily our bathroom lights are sensor activated, so again cuts down on energy wasted if nobody is in the room.

I believe that every little helps, and small changes add up to a big whole, so here are some of the little things we’ve done …

  1. Put out a recycling bin for paper and clean plastic.

  2. Instead of using throw away plastic cups for water we’ve got washable beakers.

  3. All the cleaning products we use, with the exception of bleach, are eco friendly.

  4. From now on our workshop information will be printed on A5 paper, and it would be fabulous if you could view details on line, or take a snap of the flyers (maybe class calendars too) where possible.

  5. Peter even cycles to classes when he can!

And here are a couple of ways you can help too, at any of our classes …

  1. Please bring your drink in a reusable flask / bottle.

  2. If you are attending a longer session where we serve refreshments, please bring your own refillable mug for warm drinks.

  3. If you feel the cold wear an extra layer, or bring an extra blanket for relaxation. I love my super thin, skin tight thermals in the winter! We try to keep the heating at an ambient 22 degrees, just a couple of degrees warmer uses quite a bit more energy.

I’ve just been researching eco friendly teabags. Apparently PG Tips and the Co-op make biodegradable tea bags, has anyone tried these? I’m very much a beginner at this, and would welcome your suggestions on how we can improve our eco credentials. Please do let me know your ideas. Ix

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