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)

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Small efforts have big ripples on the environment

Just Posted

The 11th annual Christmas Stocking Drive hosted by Royal LePage runs now until Dec. 11. (David Sucsy, Getty Images via Metro Creative Graphics)
Chilliwack Realtors asking people to help fill Christmas stockings for kids, seniors

Donations of cash, items needed for Christmas Stocking Drive hosted by Royal LePage

The BC Court of Appeal in Vancouver.
BC Court of Appeal hearing Barry Neufeld’s arguments why defamation suit should go ahead

BC Supreme Court tossed out lawsuit against Glen Hansman a year ago following anti-SLAPP legislation

A new ‘soft reporting’ room is opening inside the Ann Davis Transition Society offices on Dec. 1, 2020 which is thought to be the first of its kind in B.C. (Ann Davis Transitional Society/ Facebook)
First ‘trauma-informed’ reporting room of its kind in B.C. opening in Chilliwack

The ‘Willow Room’ is for reporting domestic violence, sexual, or gender-based violence to police

Trustees Barry Neufeld (left) and Darrell Furgason at a Jan. 29, 2019 meeting. (File photo/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack teachers respond to trustee’s ableist slurs

Teachers’ association calling for Neufeld to resign, board to censure Furgason

Meaghan Esmeijer delivers fully packed diaper backs to the maternity floor of Chilliwack General Hospital as part of the Southside Church ‘Love them Both’ program. (Submitted photo)
Chilliwack’s Southside Church spreads Christmas cheer with ‘All is Bright’ day

The fifth annual community outreach event happens Nov. 28 with activities throughout Chilliwack

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

File photo
Surrey RCMP investigating death threat against Surrey councillor

‘On Monday morning I received a threat on messenger that basically said to put a bullet in me,’ Councillor Jack Hundial told the Now-Leader

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Most Read