Erika Arnold from Studio B Yoga has been spreading sustainability tips through their staff, clients and community. Her efforts have earned the studio an award, and a chance to share their message with even more people. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

Small efforts have big ripples on the environment

Chilliwack yoga studio employee helping shape culture with small changes

You don’t have to move mountains to make a world of change.

Even the smallest tweaks in behaviour can cause a ripple effect that help change the environment around you. Just ask Erika Arnold. She’s always been a conscientious person, aware of her footprint on the earth and taking steps to limit it.

“But the past few years, I’ve been really trying to reduce my waste and pay attention to it,” she says. “I had already been doing some zero waste stuff, and I buy mostly fruits and vegetables, and I don’t buy a lot of packaged foods.”

Then she went on a trip to Costa Rica. She saw another way to live, another way to conserve materials, and started to realize just how much waste we produce in North America. And she brought that learning home with her.

“I did a full overhaul,” she says. For example, a lot of restaurants she visited in Costa Rica didn’t use throw away straws, but had steel ones to wash and reuse. While traveling, she and her friend purchased their own reusable cutlery — and she still uses it that today if she’s away from home.

And for things like soap, she buys bulk and brings her own refillable containers. And Arnold just doesn’t do this at home; she’s brought her sustainable habits to work with her, too. She’s part of the team at Studio B Yoga in Garrison. They were recognized for their sustainable way of doing things at the recent Chilliwack Chamber of Excellence Awards. And when owner Crystal Hasell found out they were nominated, she knew the accolades belonged with Arnold.

“She said, ‘if we win that’s your award,’” Arnold recalls. And from the time Mayor Sharon Gaetz read their name, along with a welcoming namaste to the end of their speeches, the two say the award is a bit of a blur. But they are thankful that the community has come to see them as a sustainable company. And it’s clear that Arnold’s enthusiasm for cleaning up the planet is growing. Signs of her efforts are all around the studio.

Their soap is bought in bulk, straight from the store into their own containers. They have a filtered water station and mason jars so nobody has to bring bottled water (which isn’t sold in the studio). For their merchandise, they prefer sellers who are local, with little to no packaging. They don’t print receipts unless a client needs it.

And, Arnold has even gotten the staff — and a handful of members — into the habit of taking their own reusable containers to restaurants for leftovers. It’s a two-for-one sustainable option. Food doesn’t go to waste, and no styrofoam ends up in the garbage.

And about that leftover food. Arnold and other staff members take their compost home with them, ensuring nothing that could be green again ends up in the landfill.

For Arnold, getting into the habit of sustainability is about getting out of the habits of convenience.

“For some reason we’ve gotten into the idea of convenience,” she says. “I have even seen one fruit or vegetable wrapped in plastic.”

Hasell says Arnold “is amazing and deserves so much credit for encouraging us all to try a more sustainable life to create a better future earth.”

In addition to teaching five classes a week at Studio B, plus the Girlvana Yoga for teens, and working as the studio manager, she runs a Sustainable Fraser Valley Facebook group and an Instagram page called @zerowastefraservalley, encouraging people to make changes in small ways. When she’s not doing all that, she’s in Vancouver studying holistic nutrition.

Hasell admits that she doesn’t do as much as Arnold, but that everyone making small changes can have a big effect. And Arnold has been that one drop in the ocean that’s having an effect on the studio, its staff, its clients, and with the acknowledgment that comes from the Chamber win, they hope the greater community, too.


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Night patrol on Chilliwack waters leads DFO to seize 48 sockeye and harbour seal from poachers

Charges pending after two poachers arrested for fishing at night

Highway 7 down to one-lane alternating as crews fight Mt. Hicks wildfire

150-hectare blaze prompted closure of a provincial park

Drug-checking started as pilot project in Chilliwack to test for fentanyl

Substance is mixed with water on test strip, and result is revealed in minutes

Chilliwack goes cluck-cluck for chickens ahead of civic election

With an election in sight, urban chickens supporters ramp up their efforts for legal acceptance

Chilliwack basketballers grab gold at U-15 nationals

Julia Tuchscherer and Marijke Duralia led Team B.C. past Team Ontario in the title game.

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Second measles scare this summer at YVR

An infected traveller flew out of Vancouver’s airport three times

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

Employers to raise salaries 2.6% on average next year: report

Firm points to factors such possibility of more trade protectionism, rising interest rates

PM Trudeau and federal ministers to meet on Vancouver Island

Cabinet retreat will be held in Nanaimo from Aug. 21-23

Breaking: Trinity Western University changes controversial covenant

Pledge forbidding sexual intimacy outside of marriage to be optional at Langley university: report

Child, 3, survives fall from 3rd-floor window with no major injuries

Abbotsford Police Department spokesperson says toddler lucky to be alive after fall of that height

Vancouver 6th most liveable city in the world: report

West coast city narrowly beats Toronto, but is bested by Calgary

Plaque that replaced Macdonald statue at Victoria city hall vandalized

Less than 24 hours after plaque was installed, an ‘X’ had been scratched through the centre

Most Read