In a recent appearance on The Martha Stewart Show, green-living expert and vinyasa teacher Heather Stephenson showed the diva of homemaking how environmental sustainability is a good thing.
Stephenson cofounded Ideal Bite (www.idealbite.com), a website that provides witty, practical, and easy-to-use tips on how to make the world a greener place. Subscribers to the daily e-newsletters—affectionately called Biters—learn how to save landfill space and improve air quality with ideas on everything from produce to beauty products, running shoes, and even electronics. There’s also a blog in which Stephenson and guests detail their daily eco-escapades. During her time on Stewart’s show, Stephenson led her host through the home of a real-life family, instructing parents and children on how they could increase their environmental responsibility in simple ways, like replacing inefficient light bulbs and forsaking paper plates at mealtime.
"People come to both yoga and sustainability for personal reasons, but as you delve deeper into both practices, you find you can’t avoid seeing the big picture," says Stephenson. "We want clean air when we practice yoga now, but it’s also important to have clean air 5,000 years from now."
Stephenson and business partner Jennifer Boulden recognize that making the transition to a green lifestyle can seem overwhelming for many. That’s why they keep their advice simple and their tips realistic. "Tiny little steps create a huge difference," Stephenson says. "We make sure we never get preachy. Living a green lifestyle is about living in comfort, fulfillment, and joy."
Here are some easy bites that Stephenson recommends for her yoga compatriots:
- Give up bottled water. According to the Sierra Club, 1.5 million barrels of oil are used to make plastic water bottles every year in the United States. So try a PVC-free stainless steel water bottle (like the Klean Kanteen) and refill it regularly.
- Exchange your PVC mat for an eco-mat and donate your old one.
- Practice in organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo clothing. The production of nonorganic cotton is responsible for 25 percent of the United States’ insecticide usage.