When you leave massage school, you will have the opportunity to create a practice that benefits our world beyond the clients you touch.
As massage therapists, who are in the field of promoting health, it is only natural that we see our practice and the wider field of bodywork as an integral part of the community, the environment and the planet as a whole. As we promote the health and well-being of our individual clients, we need to be aware of the impact our profession has on the environment. It is our responsibility to practice in a way that adds as little to the culmination of environmental toxins on our planet and on our clients.
Below are some easy, cost-effective ways to make your massage practice green:
- Laundry: Use energy-efficient washing machines and dryers. To conserve water, run only full loads. Use only natural laundry soaps, free of phosphates, chlorine and other chemicals harmful to water sources.
- Linens: Use only 100- percent cotton linens, organic if possible. It is also better to use sheets that are free of bleaches or dyes. Organic natural fabrics leave a lighter environmental footprint in their manufacturing process, are hypoallergenic and - last longer than "processed" linens do. Buy from sweatshop-free manufacturers.
- In your studio, decorate with nontoxic, paint and carpeting that is free of volatile organic compounds. VOCs are found in many paints, solvents, furniture and flooring. Over time they release noxious fumes. For lighting, use compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent-they last four to seven times longer and use less electricity. If you burn candles, use natural soy or beeswax. Paraffin wax candles contain petroleum products. All your lotions should be made of natural, nontoxic ingredients-avoid products with mineral oil or added perfumes or dyes.
- Your business items when it comes time to buying furniture and other items for your practice, choose reputable manufacturers that are green-certified and can demonstrate fair labor practices. Use your dollars to send the message that you are dedicated to eco-friendly businesses.
- Marketing materials when printing business cards, brochures and other materials, choose a printer who uses soy-based ink and prints on 100 percent post-consumer waste recycled paper stock. When sending out flyers or correspondence to your clients, use e-mail instead of paper.
Making your practice green is simple and cost-effective, and can save you money on energy bills. It is also a powerful marketing tool now that more and more consumers look for services dedicated to their health as well as the health of the planet.