May 30, 2017

Sustainability Part 1. How I reduce my carbon footprint

Hi everyone! What makes me stand out among other private yoga teachers is not only my teaching methods, but also my lifestyle. I try to be a good role model for my clients and for all people around me, which requires quite some personal discipline.

Besides taking care of my body by practicing yoga and working out every day, I also highly care about our planet and display it through my actions and lifestyle choices. After studying sustainability in UCLA Extension last year, I realized my lifestyle is far away from being zero-energy/ zero-waste. Unfortunately, living in an apartment building I have no control over certain things. For instance, there’s no composting in our building and anywhere nearby; there’s no solar panels on our roof; there’s no land for me to grow my own fruits/vegetables/herbs. However, there are lots of things I CAN DO to reduce my environmental impact provided in the list below. I challenge you to join me on the path towards healthier and more sustainable lifestyle by picking 2-3 bullets points from this list and adapting those strategies.

  • I opt to bike or walk instead of driving as often as I can. Most of my clients are located 3-5 miles away from my house which makes it feasible for me to commute by bicycle.
  • I carpool or use public transportation for longer distance rides. I’ve used the Expo Line multiple times to get to Downtown LA- it’s a convenient, safe and cheap way. Round trip ride is $3.50 which is cheaper than parking in DTLA.
  • I use LED lights and turn the lights off when they are not being used. As simple as this sounds, I know way many people who don’t pay attention to such small details. By turning the lights off you will save electricity and money.
  • I shop at farmer’s markets or stores that sell local produce such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.
  • I always choose organic produce over non- organic because I support organic methods of agriculture. They are better for our health and the heath of soil.
  • When buying eggs I opt for free range egg. Same rule applies to purchasing chicken- organic and preferably free range, hormone and antibiotic-free.
  • I do not eat beef and if there’s only one thing from the list you can do with me, I beg you to give up beef consumption. I’ll dedicate a separate blog post to this topic.
  • I reduce waste by recycling and reusing stuff. For instance, instead of throwing away clothes, books or other old items, I donate them to Goodwill.
  • I have to admit that I prefer real books to their digital equivalents. However, instead of buying new books, I exchange books with my friends and I also buy used books on eBay or Amazon.
  • When purchasing clothing, I opt for high quality fabric such as hemp or organic cotton. I support small businesses that manufacture locally (such as Vitalhemp) or companies that have sustainable practices and policies such as Nike. Once in a while I buy second hand clothing.
  • To reduce water consumption, I take showers only once a day and use shower timer (5 min max). I load my dishwasher to its full capacity, instead of running it half-empty.
  • I prefer natural and organic personal care and cleaning products. My favorite companies are Method, Ecos, Seventh Generation
  • When on my period,  I use a menstrual cup (the Moon Cup). You can purchase it on Amazon.  It is made of silicon and thus reusable. It does require some skill initially, but after a few uses you will have no problem putting it in and taking it out. Such a great sustainable alternative to tampons or pads!
  • I invest time in my own education on sustainability buy reading articles, attending lectures, watching documentaries and listening to podcasts on the topic.
  • I spread the word and educate my family, friends and clients on how we can reduce our impact on environment by making small shifts in our every day routine.

If you’re curious to know your carbon footprint, click on this page– it’s a very fun interactive calculator that will definitely give you some insight.  Here’s my results:

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