It’s Earth Day 2023 today and to celebrate I want to share with how I’m always striving to offer sustainable yoga retreats that respect Mother Earth.
When I decided to set up my mini retreat centre here in Norfolk, I started with an empty house and not a stick of furniture because I had just returned from a life overseas.
Aiming to offer a sustainable yoga retreat from the outset
This was a bonus as it allowed me to set some rules (challenges) as I created my new retreat centre. I knew from the outset that I wanted my new business to reflect my values to care for this Earth, to not squander resources and to offer sustainable yoga retreats in Norfolk that aimed to be planet friendly & ecological wherever possible.
I bought hotel beds BRAND new and everything else had to be: a second, rehomed, upcycled, gifted, or renovated. The most amazing thing happened when I set that rule: things started to appear from everywhere and everyone. Friends downsizing to a smaller home gifted me my gorgeous sofa and armchair, I found my dining room table on the street with a ‘take-me home’ sign, a holiday home owner handed me my bed, the picnic table and some outdoor furniture … and so it went on.
As we were emerging from lockdown, I more or less equipped my kitchen from my village charity shop. Their fifty-pence sale saw me purchase a slow cooker, an ice cream maker, pots & pans and much of the glassware to mention but a few items.
When it came to equipping my yoga room, I did buy some yoga equipment such as eco, washable yoga mats and cork blocks. I made the bolsters myself from fabric I had collected on my travels and filled them with organic buckwheat hulls.
Minimising food waste; maximising vegetarian menu choices
In my kitchen – most definitely my happy place – I have always been environmentally aware and continue to focus on my aim of offering a sustainable yoga retreat. I have switched from cling film to greaseproof paper, I don’t allow any food waste, I compost and recycle that onto my mini veggie patch. I try to buy local as much as possible, especially since Norfolk is a huge food producing county. My menu is either vegetarian or vegan, and although there is some fish and white meat consumption in my house, it is very low.
Buying eco-friendly products
I am almost at the point of saying that all my household and bathroom products are eco-friendly. It has been a labour of love slowly finding British products that work well and match my sustainable yoga retreat goal. A work in progress therefore.
Green Homes Grant to lower utility consumption
In 2022, I applied for a Green Homes Grant from Norfolk County Council. The works they are doing will bring my 1890s traditional Norfolk stone home up to a C-grade EPC. This means I will consume less energy in the future to heat my mini retreat centre so I’m very grateful to be able to save money and help the planet at the same time.
And finally, in line with my goal to offer sustainable yoga retreats, I don’t offer any energy-hungry activities such as hot tubs, saunas or pools. On my retreats, we enjoy yoga, breathwork, breathwalks, meditation and self-led mindfulness practices out in the big beautiful Norfolk outdoors. Nature offers us so much in terms of boosting our wellness that there is no need to burn electricity or consume water to get the same effect!
If you are interested in coming on a nature-inspired sustainable yoga retreat that aligns with your beliefs and values in terms of living a sustainable, respectful life, then please come and join me here on the west coast of Norfolk.