Meet Mindbody: How Mindbody Sustainability Is Investing In Our Planet
This Earth Day, we’re bringing attention to the Mindbody Sustainability Employee Resource Group (ERG)—a collective that cares deeply about the health and wellness of local environments and the planet. They strongly believe small actions and education make a big impact.
I had the chance to sit down with two of its members to learn about this year’s Earth Day theme, “Investing In Our Planet,” how the resource group came to be, and what steps they’ve taken to create a better future for earth.
Will Price: What’s your role at Mindbody?
Kathleen Mireles: I’m a senior program manager in lifecycle marketing.
Liz Scherer: I’m a technical project manager for user research. I connect the people using our software to the teams building it!
WP: What brought you to Mindbody, originally?
KM: Mindbody's core values and mission to connect people with wellness services. I wanted to work somewhere that would reinforce and support my mission to care for people and the planet.
LS: San Luis Obispo and the people there.
WP: What compelled you to join an employee resource group?
KM: After graduating with my master's in social and sustainable business management, I was eager to work somewhere that had people and the planet in mind. When I started my role at Mindbody, I noticed an opportunity to connect employees with environmental resources and accountability—and thus "Mindbody Sustainability" was created.
LS: I've always been passionate about the environment. I grew up being in the outdoors a lot and my dad worked for the state department of recycling—so that passion was ingrained in me from a young age.
WP: Walk us through how this ERG came about and what made you want to be involved with this particular charge?
KM: Mindbody employs thousands of people across numerous countries. With all of us together, aligned in our mission to connect the world to wellness (which includes all seven dimensions), we’ll be able to create a sizable impact. This includes how we operate at our in-person offices as well as individual actions we can all do remotely at home. There are unlimited opportunities to connect our employees with the education, support, and resources to make informed actions that impact our planet in a positive way.
LS: A handful of years ago, a group within the marketing department decided a sustainability group was needed to channel our environmental efforts for both Mindbody and its employees—and I've been with the group ever since!
WP: What does the Mindbody Sustainability ERG bring to Mindbody?
KM: Mindbody Sustainability provides employees with simple and practical ways to make a noticeable impact on the health of our planet. It provides education sharing amongst peers, volunteer opportunities to be involved with our local communities, and a place for employees to share their passion for environmental stewardship.
LS: In the past, we've hosted fundraising events for local non-profits: a community-wide garage sale, educational talks on carbon neutrality, environmental field trips like beach cleanups and recycling facility tours, and supported green building certifications of our offices. It's really what we make it and I'm excited for what Mindbody Sustainability will contribute to in the near future.
WP: What does the Mindbody Sustainability ERG bring to the world of wellness?
KM: I feel my healthiest when I’m in nature, whether that means swimming in the ocean, running in the hills, or camping in the desert. Part of my wellness ritual is becoming connected to nature. Intentionally grounding my bare feet in the dirt or sand. Breathing in the salty ocean air through my nose. The simple act of being present in nature and feeling its health benefits is a priority for me. The planet has given us everything and it’s our responsibility to care for it. Caring for the planet is a natural response once the distractions are quiet and we become more aware of how the planet is an extension of our bodies. It can seem daunting to care for the planet but there are simple, intentional actions we can take to give back. The more people involved, the greater the impact.
LS: Education, conversation, and action! Sustainability is for everyone.
WP: What does being a part of Mindbody Sustainability mean to you?
KM: The world (pun intended).
LS: It means I get to create a space for people to learn and act on environmental initiatives. Personally, I'm learning about climate change, the scientific number we need to reduce our CO2 output to, and my responsibility in that. Why not organize that educational journey in a way that involves others? I want to encourage people to explore areas of sustainability they're not clear on and take whatever size steps they can.
WP: With the theme of Earth Day 2022 focusing on investing in our planet, what does investing mean? And what are some ways our team, as well as all those reading this, can do to invest?
KM: Investing in our planet is all about actions we can take right now that will make a large impact for the future. This expands further than financially; however, where we spend our money, time, and resources show us what we value, or what we’re investing in. There are so many things we can do right now that make an important difference. One thing I try to focus on when it comes to the role I play in the health of our planet is around what I can do within my local community. It can feel overwhelming to think about the health of the entire universe, so thinking about my home and town simplify how I think about creating a positive impact for the planet. Think simply here! Are you composting? Do you know how to sort your trash accurately based on your local requirements? Do you patch your clothes when they tear? Can you repurpose something you own before buying something new? Can you bring reusable bags to the store? These small actions make a difference and show others around you that they can, too!
LS: Investing in our planet means looking in the mirror at our environmental impact, committing to the future of our planet, and taking action to back up our intentions. One way to do this is to be aware of our carbon footprint and support businesses that are doing the same. I'm in the process of doing this now! I downloaded an app called "Carbon footprint & CO2 tracker" to understand and improve my climate impact. Do it with me! A ton of people doing this imperfectly is what will make a difference.
WP: Given our brand mission to connect the world to wellness, what is the intersection between looking out for our physical world, and the world of wellness as we think about it?
KM: One of the seven dimensions of wellness is environmental. Without focusing on the health of our environment, we won't be able to make as great of an impact on other dimensions, including physical. Our environmental health is foundational to our overall health.
LS: We can't think about our personal wellness without thinking about the wellness of the planet. The environment is one part of the wellness recipe, just like physical and mental well-being. If we want to take care of ourselves, we also need to take care of our environment.
WP: What does wellness mean to you?
KM: Wellness is a priority for me, and it includes continuously auditing how I’m feeling in each of the seven dimensions of wellness. Do I feel healthy socially? Intellectually? Emotionally? Or is one category feeling like it needs more intentionality? What things can I do to fuel my health? This exercise helps me be more aware of different aspects of my health. I try not to complicate this, knowing there are small things I can do to contribute to my overall health.
LS: To me, wellness means staying intentional. Taking care of my health so I can live happy and continue to grow. One way that reflects in my sustainability practices is being mindful of my consumption—where does it come from? Is it worth the waste it will produce?
WP: In the coming months and years, what are some of the major Mindbody Sustainability initiatives and goals that will help shape the future of wellness?
KM: In the next coming months and years, Mindbody Sustainability is focusing on how environmental wellness impacts the businesses we help serve and how we can empower and support them. I’m excited for all the opportunities to connect our employees and business users with environmental education and continue the conversation about how environmental wellness impacts all wellness. This includes continued intentionality when it comes to the collateral we produce, how much energy we consume, etc.
LS: Kathleen said it all! I think the intention is to be a resource for customers, consumers, and employees to practice sustainability in the wellness industry. Learning what sustainability looks like with those who interact with the software—how does sustainability impact our customers’ business practices and our consumers’ decisions in the businesses they choose to support? How can we better support those decisions?
WP: Finally, where can I go to learn more about taking part in creating a better world? What news sources should we be tapping into to educate ourselves and continue the sustainability charge?
KM: For more information about how to create a positive environmental impact, I highly recommend researching your local waste management company to learn about how to sort your trash correctly, looking up local non-profits that support environmental causes you could be a part of, reading books to become more educated, or following Instagram/TikTok accounts with quick tips that promote reduced waste living. Think locally!
LS: Subscribing to Green Hawks Media email newsletters is a great place to start. If you're on Instagram, follow these accounts and add them to your favorites: @zerowastestore, @packagefreeshop, @plasticfreejuly, @wastefreewednesdays, @wastefreeplanet, @plasticfreedom_, @terracycle, @chloe.swarbrick, @gretathunberg, @my_plastic_free_home, and @the.eco.warrior.
If you’d like to learn more about our Mindbody Sustainability Employee Resource Group, our efforts, and how diversity, equity, and inclusivity come to life at Mindbody, please visit the DEIB Resource Center.
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