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Going Green...it's been a Journey

Creating + Cultivating a

Green Studio

From The Roots Up

Formerly Joyful Yoga & Joyful Mamas, Studio 191 is our new purpose designed yoga, movement + lifestyle studio in de Pijp. We're dedicated to serving the local community + environment - it is our intention and goal to make conscious choices to minimise the negative impact to our environment. In fact, we have considered the environmental impact with every decision we have made - from the studio's construction to our operation. Did you know that the building was just 4 walls and that everything you see now was designed and built by us using sustainable materials (wherever possible)? One of the benefits (and beautiful challenges) of creating a space from the roots up was our ability to make conscious choices. Over the past 4 months, we have learnt so much about where our materials come from and how we can make better choices.

Well, we hope you are going to love the space! We have focused on creating a toxin-free environment using natural and/or recycled materials. Want a few examples?

  • We chose to use only eco-friendly, low-VOC paint; we are encouraging you to breathe deeply so we want to keep the space as pure as possible. 
  • We also decided to install environmentally friendly floor finishes that are glue & varnish free - you'll be getting down pretty low in most of our classes, so let's keep that space pure too. 
  • Our eco friendly ceiling fans have a reverse direction to pull all the hot air from the ceiling down to the floor level, we will keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. 
  • We have incorporated a low-flow plumbing system, programmable thermostat and energy saving light fixtures. Why expend more energy than you need to?
  • Our mats are from Manduka, meaning they are made with biodegradable, non-Amazon harvested, natural tree rubber. What a mat! Checkout this great company if you are looking to purchase your own mat. 
  •  We have chosen to surround our space with a selection of Air-Purifying Plants. Looking to find out more about this for your own space? We can help. 

  • All of the products used for cleaning the studio are plant-based or non-toxic and our mat spray is home-made from tea tree oil + lavender. This is the most simple change to make and you'll enjoy the lovely scent of the mats. 
  • In our day-to-day operation, we encourage the use of reusable items such as hand-towels (for cleaning the mats) and mugs, instead of the disposable water bottles options. We encourage you to minimise the use of plastic water bottles and bring your own re-usable bottle. We can recommend a few great brands that don't leak nasties into your water. 
  • We are into saving paper too. We promote a paperless space - encouraging you to use your phone (on silent, of course) to capture and share information from our walls. Now and again, we will find it necessary to print information but we are committed to only printing on recycled paper and card.
  • Attending an event with food + drink? Everything we use is ready for recycling or the dishwasher. If you have a bamboo fork in your hand or a banana leaf plate... we have a recycle bin ready for that, people. 
  • We regularly host 'Karma Classes' - these are classes which ask you to donate money or items in exchange for a class. The proceeds from the studio's karma classes are donated to local charities and causes, including environmental causes. 
  • We are ready to recycle the paper, plastic and glass waste on a daily basis. When you join Studio 191, we'll show you around and these bins are part of the tour. Yes ma'am. 
  • Interested to find out how you can make more environmentally conscious choices yourself? We are keen to share great books, guidance and a diverse selection of workshops in 2016 that assist you in making better lifestyle choices for yourself, your loved ones and our environment. From learning how to make your own natural skincare products to eating + preparing raw foods, from learning how to grow your own urban garden on an Amsterdam-sized balcony to a Recycling 101 talk... we're creating possibilities. 

On a personal note, I really would like to share with you all that "Going Green" hasn't always been a walk in the park. It certainly takes time to acquire knowledge and find the best options out there. It also takes dedication and a willingness to look beyond the cheapest and quickest solution. In some situations, it has also taken a level of acceptance as not everything can be avoided, yet compromises can be made. For example, I felt it necessary to have business cards and a few posters - I'm trying to save paper but I also would love people to know about my business. My compromise was to print with a company that had a better eco-footprint record and also to use recycled paper. It took time, it took a bit more money but it feels better to me. In this regard, I found a level of acceptance through compromise. 

So does "going green" take more money? Personally, the idea that more ecological choices are more expensive are (for me) neither true nor false. I can definitely attest that eco-friendly, low VOC paint is definitely more expensive than it's naughty counterpart, however, buying disposable tableware that has been recycled (and that can be recycled again) had no extra cost. Choosing plants that clean your air, making pieces of furniture yourself from old, unloved items and advocating natural solutions to clean your space... well, these green practices saved us money for sure. 

Was it worth the extra time and energy? Absolutely. I feel so proud of the space and the conscious intention we have put into creating it. Even the builders got onboard (eventually). This coming Sunday 06 December, Studio 191 Amsterdam will open it's doors for the first time. I can't wait to show you the space and give you a taste of the energy and offerings. On a deeper level, I'm excited to share the ethos, passions and ambitions of this studio - of everyone who has helped to create it and everyone who continues to make it a place of joy and transformation. 

Love,

Natasha 

Founder + Teacher at Studio 191

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