Going Green at Lotus Massage & Wellness Center

frontdoorLotus Center is a values-conscious enterprise committed to serving our clients, staff, community, and planet by pursuing socially and environmentally responsible practices. Our environmental goals include minimizing our impacts to the extent practicable, supporting others who work to protect the environment, and advancing sustainability in Tucson and beyond.

We are proud to have received a Certified Business Seal of Approval from Green America as well as Green Business Certification from the City of Tucson Office of Sustainable Development! Both of these achievements involved many significant steps and much documentation.

The green choices we make encompass everything from our building and landscaping to our restrooms, beverage service area, office needs, massage supplies, and more.

Lotus Center is a carbon-neutral business, meaning we make no net contribution to global climate change. We purchase carbon offsets through Native Energy to counter the impacts of greenhouse gases produced via heating, cooling, and other energy use at Lotus Center.

Of course, that’s on top of a number of energy conservation measures. Although we lease our facility, we installed triple-pane low-e windows in most of the building and improved the insulation in weak areas. We set our thermostat conservatively and use mostly compact fluorescent lamps. We plug various electronics and small appliances into power strips; by flipping these off at the end of each day, we avoid the significant “phantom loads” of electricity that occur in most homes and businesses.

Our landscape plants are primarily native and arid-adapted plants, which we chose not only for their low water requirements but also their value to birds. Our landscape design is based on permaculture principles. Wherever possible (given the existing walkways and parking lot), rainwater is harvested and directed to basins where it benefits plants while reducing storm runoff.

Our restrooms include such water conservation features as faucet aerators and low-water use toilets. Instead of disposable paper towels, we provide small individual cotton guest towels. All our tissue products are 100 percent recycled content and made without chlorine bleach. And of course, we use natural and nontoxic cleaning supplies.

In our beverage service area, the teas we offer are organic and fair trade, and we limit energy use by how we provide hot water for tea and flip off the water cooler overnight. Our cold-drink cups are corn-based and our hot-drink cups recycled paper with a corn lining. We’re grateful for the services of the U of A Compost Cats, who collect these compostable cups and other office compostables.

Some of our furniture and massage equipment is “recycled.” Our new massage tables are from Oakworks, probably the most ecologically responsible manufacturer in the massage equipment industry. Oakworks uses materials that are free of environmentally harmful PVC, dyes, and chemicals. A portion of our massage table linens at Lotus Center are organic cotton. And we provide natural and organic massage lubricants for our therapists – and you!

For our office needs, we reduce, reuse, and recycle to the extent feasible. For example, we buy refurbished printer cartridges. Any flyers we create on colored paper are at least 30% recycled content, and our brochures, business cards, gift certificates, notecards and envelopes are printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper.

We make an ongoing effort to support other locally-owned independent businesses as well as choose products from companies that are socially and environmentally responsible. By the way, if you work with a nonprofit environmental organization or community cause, let us know if we can help by donating a gift certificate to your next fundraising event!

Meanwhile, the fact that we lease rather than own our facility puts clear constraints on what is feasible; and we are constantly faced with challenging decisions about the most prudent choices for limited funds. We’re not claiming to be perfect, but we’re doing what we can, and we look forward to doing more as Lotus Center grows.

Please join us in being green, and walk, bike, or bus to Lotus Center to receive a $5 discount on any massage.