Part of BodyQuirks’ philosophy is to have a big impact on the health and wellbeing of our clients while striving to have as small of an impact on the environment as possible. Here at the BQ studio we’re not only conscious of our individual responsibility to the planet, but also our responsibility as a business. That’s why when we opened our new expanded studio this year, we took some time to think about how our business might impact the planet and what we could do to reduce our business carbon footprint.
A great place to start, if you’re thinking of reducing the carbon footprint of your business is with this carbon footprint calculator from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. We’ve also come up with our own list of things you can do to help make your business more earth friendly.
BodyQuirks: If it’s green it’s good
These are things any business can implement with just a few simple changes, reducing your overall environmental impact and in many cases, saving you a little green in your wallet as well.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:
- Recycled Building Materials: Doing a remodel or new build-out? Look for reclaimed materials to spruce up your space. The ceiling tiles in our office are made entirely of recycled materials. Visit the Rebuilding Center here in Portland for a variety of home and office improvement needs.
- Buy it Used: When it came time to buy a front desk, we looked all over town for a used one that met our vision for the office. By pure chance, right as we were going to give up and purchase a new (icky) particle board desk, we found a used solid hardwood desk with a rounded corner to match our wall that was so perfect – and for a fraction of the cost of a new, lesser quality desk. In fact everything, except for the machines (and two of them were purchased used), was bought second-hand. We are very fortunate to have amazing friends and clients who, knowing that we prefer to buy used whenever possible, helped us locate great stuff along the way. Nearly everything you see (or sit on) in our office like art, chairs, storage boxes, sheets, cleaning supplies, office supplies, armchairs, rugs, etc. had a former life.
- Recycle Old Flooring: Among the first things we did when we got our space was to have the old carpeting removed and recycled, and the floors refinished.
- Electronic Files and Reclaimed Paper: Using an electronic system helps us keep better records and save on paper. In fact, when we have to use paper, like we do when we need to get a release form signed by a client, we use a laminated sheet that we re-use and scan into the client’s file before wiping it clean again for the next client’s use. When there’s no getting around the use of paper, we use only post consumer recycled paper or paper made from sugar cane fiber and reuse or recycle anything and everything we can.
- ReUse or Compost: We invested in glasses for our clients to stay hydrated and encourage their use instead of paper cups (if you must use disposable — ours are compostable) and we even offer have cold cups “to go” made from compostable corn products.
Green and Clean
You can spend a lot of money on cleaning products that are harmful to the environment and toxic to humans (and our furry friends) or you can get wise to the fact that there are some natural basics that will both clean and disinfect for a fraction of the cost. We find that these natural DIY solutions work even better than the harsh chemical cleaners.
- Use microfiber mops: We do on our reclaimed cement floors. These microfibers are excellent for picking up loose debris and we only have to use water to clean the floors to a sparkling shine (although, sometimes, for the tough stains, we use hydrogen peroxide (H202)).
- Microfiber Cloths: Want the power of Van der Waals forces in your hands, turning something as simple as water into a super cleaner? Get yourself some microfiber cloths. They’re the only thing we use to wipe the machines down though we pair it with a kick of H2O2 to kill bacteria and viruses, sanitizing our machines in an instant.
- The Power of Peroxide: We not only use H202 on our mop and cloths to disinfect and get out stubborn stains, we also use it in the foot bath to kill bacteria without all the harmful dioxins of chlorine. The CDC has some really good information about the disinfecting power of H2O2.
- Wash it Green: We wash our clothes and towels with biodegradable, scentless soap, and ask our clients to refrain from the use of perfumes when visiting us, since many people are allergic to scents.
- DIY Cleaning Recipes: Want to know the best, non-toxic, earth-friendly way to clean something in your home or office? Check out this great list of cleaning recipes using some of the same ingredients you already have in your cupboard (baking soda, vinegar, Borax, H202, olive oil etc.).
- Ionize and Refresh: Each room has a Tibetan pink salt lamp that is kept on at all times to help ionize the air and keep it clean. When we feel we need to refresh and clean sweep the air a bit more, we have an ionizing machine that freshens without chemicals that just mask odors and bacteria.
- Energy-Efficient Blues Fighting Bulbs: Next, we changed the fluorescent light bulbs to Full Spectrum ones. Often people say they feel good just coming into our space and some of this is due to the quality of the light. All our lamps have LED bulbs in them too.
- No VOCs: When it came time to paint we used odorless, no VOC paints to save the air and the lungs of our clients (not to mention our own) from harmful emissions. Miller Paint here in Portland, was the first in the market to convert their main line of interior products, “Acro,” to a zero VOC product line in 1996 (and they do so much more!)
- Friendly Bacteria for Healthier Environment: Our hand soap is NOT antibacterial since it’s very damaging to good bacteria and bad for the environment and our health.
- Ride Your Bike: We suggested (very strongly) that our landlord install bicycle racks to encourage people to ride to their appointments instead of driving.
The bottom line: Being a responsible business owner these days means doing what you can to keep this planet moving for many more years to come. We’re committed to making as small of an imprint on this planet with our business as we can, and to look out for our client’s well-being at the same time.
What are YOU doing to reduce your carbon footprint? Share it with us! If you have other suggestions on what we can do, or if you want to learn about how massage, Whole Body Vibration (WBV), far infrared sauna treatment, and our Japanese foot bath can help you, give us a call at (503) 233-9030.
Want to learn more about the benefits and uses of H202? Read our article on it here.