You’ll often hear me tell you to exhale through pursed lips imagining you’re blowing through a straw. It’s the perfect cue for your workout, but in my everyday life I’ve swapped ocean-choking single-use straws for reusable glass and hay ones. Individual changes like this may seem insignificant, but when put into action on a large scale can make a huge difference.
In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, here are a few more swaps I’ve made at Studio LB and in my family life to reduce our carbon footprint, and would encourage you to try to increase your sustainability quotient too.
Plastic seems to have found its way into every aspect of our lives, and roughly half of annual plastic production is for a single-use product. As mentioned, straws are definitely a part of this and another huge one is the proliferation of plastic bags. When I pack Mars’ school lunch, I use Beeswrap sandwich wraps and Silicon bags that are reusable and washable rather than disposable ziplocks. And in addition to bringing your canvas or nylon shopping bags for the grocery store or the farmers’ market, keep in mind that individual produce doesn’t necessarily require separate bags - cucumbers and tomatoes can totally cozy up to one another.
Studio LB’s digital platform also means zero negative impact on our environment. You should feel good about not just saving time by streaming as opposed to going to a brick and mortar studio, but you’re also reducing your fuel usage and reducing waste all around. When practicing, I encourage you to use an eco friendly mat like Jade’s Harmony mat made from natural rubber, a renewable resource. It contains no PVC or ozone depleting substances and is made entirely from tree-derived latex, giving it a grippy and cushiony texture that will help sustain Mother Nature. Jade also plants a tree for every mat sold, so you’re even giving back to our planet in a tangible way by buying one. Also, Mankuka’s EKO mat is legendary, for good reason. It’s made with zero PVC and biodegradable natural tree rubber that wasn’t harvested in the Amazon, along with non-toxic dyes.
Every spring we incorporate outdoor walk/run into the weekly schedule, and with that comes an added need for SPF. I’ve used Coola’s “farm to face” products for years, and strongly recommend their classic collection for organic sunscreen. The goal with our seasonal shift to sweating outside here is to reap the benefits of sun exposure (hello, Vitamin D!) but we also want avoid sun damage, fine lines, and loss of our skin’s elasticity.
Clean It Up
A cute washable sweat towel is a key part of your workout, as opposed to paper towels and wipes for cleaning up sweat and wiping down your mat. Personally I like look for organic cotton or bamboo, which is naturally antimicrobial. There’s also a lot to be said for Manduka’s yogitoes towels made from discarded plastic bottles woven into 50% recycled content. Find what works for you, and you’ll eliminate paper waste from your routine.
Humans buy about a million plastic bottles PER MINUTE worldwide, and less than a quarter are recycled in the US. Finding a good glass or stainless option is important, and there are tons on the market. Make sure yours is BPA free and don’t forget to BYOB! The reusable water bottle only makes a difference if you remember to keep it with you and not stored away in your kitchen cabinet.
Eco-friendly gear doesn't have to be hippy-chic. Sustainable fitness apparel brands, like Beloforte (who makes all their activewear with recycled plastics from eco-friendly mills) are chic and their line works from studio-to-street. Outdoor Voices, Fabletics and Nimble Activewear use recycled fabrics in some of their collections. The yarn in RUMIX fabrics is made from shredded plastic bottles (other items in their line are made from recycled coffee grounds), so they estimate that this one outfit would save approximately 24 PET bottles. Other brands like PACT, the Girlfriend Collective, Pansy, and Boody are fair-trade, ethically-manufactured and closed-loop production processes that are also cute and supportive. Finding options can be tough but they are definitely options out there!
So these are just a few ways I’m doing my part to reduce waste and lighten my carbon footprint in honor of Earth Day, but I’d love to hear your great eco-friendly ideas to adopt. Send any tips my way on the Studio LB hotline 424-327-5470 or sound off in the comments below!