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12 Steps to a More Eco-Friendly Dance Studio

Posted Apr 22 2009 11:56pm

Happy Earth Day!

Photo by Woodley Wonder Works

Photo by Woodley Wonder Works

12 Ideas for Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling in the Dance Studio Environment

1. Collect and Recycle

Many of us recycle at home but forget about our workplace. Collect plastic, aluminum, glass, paper, and cardboard if you can. If there is no collection for your area or facility, check into possible drop-off sites and mobilize teachers, parents, and students to see that it gets there.

Consider recycling CDs and cases, as well! With music going completely digital there are probably a lot of these lying around the studio, not to mention all of the burned CDs that get made and tossed. Check this article for ideas about Where to Recycle CD and DVD Cases or try http://www.cdrecyclingcenter.com.

2. Turn Off Lights and Office Machines

Encourage students and staff to turn off lights whenever the studios, bathrooms, or offices are not in use. If your space has the option, try using only half of the lights available or installing dimmer switches. And, replace bulbs,as they burn out with energy-efficient ones.

Also, shut down computers and other office equipment when not in use, purchasing Energy Star labeled devices when you can.

3. Avoid Air Conditioning

Embrace the sweat and resist the urge to immediately snap on the A/C on hot days. Check out this article in Dance Teacher about Choosing the Right Temperature for Your Studio. And, don’t forget to remind students to stay hydrated!

4. Reduce Water Bottle Waste

Speaking of hydration, I know that some of you probably sell bottled water at your studio. However, it’s a no-brainer that all that waste is a real downside. Consider providing filtered water and/or encouraging students to bring a refillable from home. Perhaps you could sell containers with the studio logo to make up for not selling bottled water.

5. Reduce Water Use

Consider installing low-flow toilets or using the ol’ brick-in-the-tank method. Plus, do your best to keep up with maintenance of dripping faucets.

6. Go Paperless

Photo by David Mellis

Photo by David Mellis

In this age of technology, it isn’t as difficult as it seems. Studios are beginning to move newsletters and other communications online. From increased communication through a studio blog to interacting with customers on your studio’s own Ning social network, technology is making it much easier to go paperless. In fact, the free teleseminar that I am involved with at DanceStudioOwner.com will include discussion about how to transition your registration and billing systems online. This event begins TODAY with yours truly kicking things off. The topics are so timely, please don’t miss it. There is no cost, all you need is an email address, a phone, and some spare moments throughout the next month!

7. Print Wisely

When you must print, use both sides of the paper whenever possible, use the back sides of old documents for faxes, drafts, etc, use the draft setting on your printer when you can, and consider recycling your ink cartridges or toner.

8. Carpool

Start a carpool network. If you are already communicating online with your customers (or even if you are not), there may be plenty of opportunities to organize parents and students. We live in a fast-paced world but students are very conscious of environmental issues. You might be surprised at their efforts in this area. However, if you want to go that extra mile, consider offering some incentive with a discount to those who participate in an organized carpool.

9. Set Up a Gently Used Consignment or Trading List

Young dancers grow out of dancewear and shoes constantly and prices for brand new stuff can get expensive. Again, mobilize your customer base and work together to create a system in which students/parents can offer used items for resale or trade. Frugal parents will thank you.

10. Community Clean-Up

Adopt a highway or join other community clean-up efforts. This is great for your city and the environment. Additionally, showing an interest in your local region is good for business.

11. Buy Organic, Recycled, and Eco-Friendly Products

From the snacks you offer, to the paper towels you use, to the cleaning products you put on your floors, there are plenty of options for going green. Check TheGreenOffice.com or the following link, if you’re not sure where to Find Eco-Friendly Office Supplies.

Photo by CarbonNYC

Photo by CarbonNYC

12. Say No to Faux

Nothing brightens up a space like real, growing things. Consider bringing live plants into your studio environment to cool, humidify, and refresh the air.

Setting the Barre

Point Park University in Pittsburgh is LEED-ing the way with their development of a Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design-certified 42,000 square foot dance complex. Read more about the building at Point Park’s website. And, check out this article featured in Dance Teacher Magazine.

What are some ways your studio is “going green?”

What are the pros and cons of the above 12 steps?

I’m looking forward to your thoughts and input!

©2009 Dance Advantage. All Rights Reserved.

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