THE CRANKY YOGI ~ By Mark Kreloff
TOP TEN GREEN INITIATIVES FOR GREEDY YOGA STUDIOS
We’ve all stayed at a motel or hotel that has reminded us that being a “greener” guest is as easy as reusing a towel:
As a businessman, I completely understand that this move by hotel management is a classic “win-win-win” or “triple bottom line.” The consumer wins because they feel good about having the option to be less wasteful. The hotel wins because they are spending less money to wash linens and towels. And finally, our environment wins (I guess so) because the hotel is using less energy and potentially harmful detergents. What makes this a dream scenario for a business person is that the consumer is making a tacit decision to be a good citizen without making any effort to do so. In fact, you kind of have to be a big fat-cat-jerk to call the front desk and whine about how you need new towels everyday for the three days you are bunking up so you can attend some fancy yoga workshop near the Philadelphia airport.
Greenwashing our Yoga Mats.
But what happens when the consumer doesn’t have a choice in the matter? Is the “green initiative” still a “triple bottom line”? On a recent visit to my yoga studio, I saw this sign:
It seems that the management of my yoga studio decided it would be okay to continue to charge me $124 per month and remove a key benefit of my “Auto Pay” membership. Mat rentals are $2.00 per class, so a typical week of four classes will now cost me $8.00 per week or $32.00 extra per month. Obviously, we can all buy / bring my own mats—in which case I and other students will need to wash our own mats (no “green” savings for Mother Earth, here). Effectively, my yoga studio jammed me with a 26% increase in price without ever asking me whether I would be annoyed by this move. Somehow, this is justifiable because it is part of a “Green Initiative.”
Give me a break. The only thing “green” about this benefit removal is the additional cash flow that will be collected from the thousands of students that now have to pay for something that was once part of their “membership.” I salute you managers and owners of my yoga studio. You have gotten away with some sneaky business.
May I suggest Ten (other) ways you can fatten your bottom line in the name of being green?:
1.) As part of our green initiative, toilet paper will no longer be supplied. Please feel free to use the hand towel hanging on the empty toilet paper dispenser.
2.) As part of our green initiative, classes will now be 10 minutes long.
3.) As part of our green initiative, we encourage you to stay home and teach yourself yoga.
4.) As part of our green initiative, students will not be admitted to class unless they have purchased their yoga attire from our studio.
5.) As part of our green initiative, students arriving to the studio in cars that utilize fossil fuels must pay a $16 per class surcharge.
6.) As part of our green initiative, classes will be taught in the dark.
7.) As part of our green initiative, our Bikram classes will be taught at room temperature.
8.) As part of our green initiative, our Costa Rica teacher training getaway will be taught in our parking lot.
9.) As part of our green initiative, students must purchase our locally-sourced drinking water at $3.00 per bottle.
10.) As part of our green initiative, all graduates of teacher training will be required to teach at our studio for life without pay.