Alycea Ungaro, owner of Real Pilates in New York, recently redid her studio’s design and practices to make it more environmentally friendly. Here she explains how why it makes sense for the Earth, and for your bottom line.
As Pilates studios, we can be fairly organic about our craft. Our “machinery” is all man-powered and our work is holistic, addressing the mind and the body. But what about our studios? With all of this focus on “going green,” I began to wonder if environmentally friendly spaces have a place in the Pilates industry.
It turns out, going green makes sense, both financially and environmentally. With a flurry of small changes we can set an example for our clients and other fitness professionals.
This past summer, I took my studio green. We were in the middle of redesigning the space and one of my staff members casually asked me if we wanted to “recycle”? Because I’m a big-picture kind of person, I immediately launched a full-out campaign.
Our renovation included laminate flooring (rather than natural wood), which is glue-less, has low VOC emission levels, and uses raw materials as an upgraded use for normal waste streams. When it came time to carpet certain areas we did some research and chose FLOR tiles. FLOR is an environmentally responsible manufacturer which promotes their “Mission Zero” – by actively reducing their landfill waste and greenhouse gas emissions each year with implementations such as a tile return/recycle policy.
Our cleaning supplies have gone green (yummy natural oils and essences give the studio a soothing smell) and so has our lighting, simply by switching to energy-efficient bulbs. We are also making our studio paperless—we have an online scheduling system and now make our weekly memo digital rather than paper. Finally, we began stocking and selling a new product line of vegan, cruelty-free and eco-conscious products.
Inspired by our success, I immediately set up meetings with other Pilates studios to show them the products and help them set up their own “green” business. When all was said and done, we saved money in areas like electricity and generated a second stream of income with the new products. Greener pastures, for sure!
Have you taken any steps to green your own studio? If so, please share your ideas below.
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