7 Ways to Make Your Massage Practice Greener
“Blossom by blossom, the spring begins.” - Algemon Charles Swinburne
Spring has sprung and the calendar has turned to April. Happy birthday to all you April babies! In honor of April being Earth Month (Earth Day is the 22nd), I composed a list of ways massage therapists can make their practices more environmentally friendly. Together we can reduce our environmental footprints, one small step at a time. Here are my suggestions:
Use glassware instead of plastics and ask your clients if they’d like water before automatically giving them a bottle or cup. We’ve been conditioned since massage school to offer our clients water post-massage. Change your post-massage process: ask your client if they’d like water (sometimes they decline because they already have a water bottle or they just don’t want any) and if they do want water, offer a glass. Many of us use disposable cups or water bottles which can add up to a lot of plastic pollution. Figure out how many glasses you’ll need based on how many clients you typically see in a day. I suggest having enough glasses ready so that you only have to do one cleaning at the end of the day (to reduce water consumption!). Want to double your impact? Try shopping for glassware at thrift or vintage shops!
Turn off all the electronics at the end of your work day. Unplug lamps, power down computers and turn off overhead lights to reduce your electric consumption. It’s amazing how much energy one little device consumes. This tip is Oprah approved, by the way.
Stop riding the elevator and take the stairs. This won’t apply to everyone but it certainly applies for me - confession: my office is on the third floor and I usually take the elevator up and sometimes down! I hereby solemnly swear that I will reduce my elevator usage. Again, this relates to reducing energy usage.
Limit paper towel usage. Depending on your practice setting, you might have an easier or harder time reducing paper towel waste. If you’re located in a medical office, you might not be able to avoid using paper towels entirely but at least have a towel for your personal use after handwashing. This is something else I’m going to start doing.
Use less lotion or scoop out your creams and lotions into reusable dishes/containers. Where are my fellow myofascial release practitioners? Besides the benefit to your clients, one of the benefits to you is that this technique usually involves mostly skin-to-skin contact with very minimal lotioning, if any. That means less plastic containers being thrown away. If you’re a lavish lotion user, try the scooping out technique and remember, please take the proper precautions to handle and store your lotions or oils properly before, during and after sessions (no cross contamination, right!?).
There’s my list of ways to make your massage practice greener. What would you add? Is there something that makes being green more difficult at your workplace? I would love to hear from you because together we can change the world. Let’s raise a glass to that.