Creative ways people and businesses are getting greener

I was catching up on my email this morning and opened up a newsletter from 8 Limbs Yoga (studios located in West Seattle, Wedgewood, and Capitol Hill). They’ve started asking themselves difficult questions about the impact they are making on the planet (and this from yoga folks, some of the most zen people on the planet). Here’s what it said that really caught my attention:

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July 2007

From the Director:

Last week we held one of our regular 8 Limbs Teacher Meetings and our introduction question was “how are you reducing your footprint on the planet?” The teachers’ answers were informative and inspiring. One teacher got Lasik Surgery to be done with all the disposable contacts and saline bottles. Another is in the middle of a remodel and spending extra time to find renewable materials for the work.

The most recent change we have made here at 8 Limbs Capitol Hill is to discontinue ordering and selling disposable plastic water bottles. We don’t want to contribute to the massive overuse of resources that comes from both creating the plastic for each single-use bottle and the resources to move this water. At each studio we have a water source that you may use your own container to fill from but will no longer provide cups (at Wedgwood, we have tiny ones for those emergencies as there is no water fountain). If you want to use our water coolers to fill your own container regularly, you may join the 8 Limbs Water Club ($5/month) to support our ability to offer the coolers at Capitol Hill and Wedgwood. The best thing to do is bring your own water from home as the water in our coolers also has to be trucked here.

Little things add up! Have an idea of how 8 Limbs can be greener? Send it to me (annephyfe@8limbsyoga.com) and if we use it (and hadn’t already thought of it) we’ll give you a free Elephant Magazine (while supplies last). By the way, Elephant (for sale at 8 Limbs CH) and Conscious Choice (free Seattle monthly) have been amazing on sustainability reporting. Check them out!

Happy Summer to all!
Anne Phyfe Palmer, Director
8 Limbs Yoga Centers
annephyfe@8limbsyoga.com

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Yoga With Your Dog (read previous post here) instructor Brenda Bryan teaches a yoga class in West Seattle that I am trying to get to more regularly. Which is why I am on the mailing list.

I want to commend the director of 8 Limbs for posing this question to her staff – and the teachers for having put some thought into this dilemma in their own lives. I think it’s great that 8 Limbs is “going out on a limb” and taking a stand on this issue. The quality of Seattle’s water supply is one of the highest in the country. (Read SPUs water quality information here.) Elimination of disposable water bottles is a recent choice I have implemented in my own household as well. It’s a struggle to drink enough water each day and I had taken to carrying a whole case of water in the boot of my car (I drive a MINI Cooper – see a photo of us at the BMW CCA Car Control Clinic here) so I had no excuses. I spend a lot of time on the road in my real estate business and hated stopping at gas stations and buying a single bottle of water when I got thirsty. It was a time waster and it was expensive.

The solution to making drinking water portable is having quality, safe containers – and enough of them – that you always manage to have one available to you. I made the investment and spent over $150 on water containers with a variety of different bottles from Klean Kanteen and SIGG. It seems like a lot of money to spend, and it is. But these bottles are not made of plastic, will last forever with proper care, and by spending so much money on them I motivated to NOT spend money on water in a plastic bottle and get use out of my new portable water containers.

I have found the real trick to enjoying clean, fresh water every day is to not leave the container in the car on a hot summer’s day. The containers are not insulated like a Thermos, and pick up (and transfer) heat easily. There’s nothing more gross than taking a swig of hot plain water when you were expecting a shot of something fresh that would make you feel cooler. Take the bottle with you – you are more likely to drink out of it that way!

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