Here is an editorial I wrote for Massage Magazine regarding “green” initiatives in massage and bodywork practices.
What steps has your company taken to be “green,” or environmentally responsible, in terms of how you run your business?
Building a community is one of the greenest things we can do, and to do this, we need to stay healthy—and stay in business. My business plan incorporates balance across the triple bottom line: social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and equitable fee structures. One key area for environmental stewardship is paper reduction. I recycle the minimal paper I use, but in fact most of my operation is online. I do all scheduling online and keep chart notes electronically. Also, most of my clients see me for Zero Balancing, which is received through clothing and thus doesn’t use sheets that need laundering.
What can massage therapists do to help Earth stay healthy?
We need to take care of ourselves mentally and physically, putting ourselves first. Like our clients, we take shortcuts when we get tired and worn down. These shortcuts typically have a negative impact: trash, food packaging, sugar, and so forth. Corporate Social Responsibility as business owners also commits us to as close to Zero Waste as possible!
How can massage therapists promote their healthy environmental practices to clients?
Most directly, by setting a good example in our offices regarding environmental, social, and economic choices. Provide recycle/compost bins for used paper towels, use mugs rather than disposable cups, use refillable and pure lotion/oil. Taking care of ourselves so as to model good health and be more effective therapists. Snacking on (and providing, if desired) healthy, whole foods rather than anything processed. Having solid business skills so we can leverage more than our hands in facilitating change.
How do your products or services promote or support a healthy environment?
By facilitating mental and physical health, I support my clients in making better decisions in their lives.
Anything else would you like to tell our readers, related to green or Earth-friendly environmental practices:
Earth-friendly means a lot more than environmental care for the Earth. Beneficial choices regarding food, attitudes, and whom we associate with are just as important in nurturing a healthy and growing community of practitioners.