Balise, Raffa plug in to eco-friendly partnership


April was the month where millions worldwide celebrated Earth Day, and here in Rhode Island, two local businesses joined forces in honor of Mother Nature. Raffa Yoga of Cranston and Balise Toyota of Warwick are revving it up to help raise awareness about clean living now and throughout the year.

“Healthy people are happy people. Happy people are positive, work hard, make money and solve economic and ecological problems. Toyota and Raffa appeal to people that fit this description,” said Balise Toyota General Manager Bill Camastro.

Balise recently donated a $5,000 charging station to Raffa Yoga so customers can charge their cars while practicing yoga or relaxing at Urban Sweat. Balise Toyota donated a universal charging station, which means it charges any brand, not just Toyota. The station charges the plug-in vehicles in 90 minutes, the time a typical Raffa Yoga class lasts.

“It is one thing to talk about saving the environment and another to take real steps toward making a difference. For me, the electric Prius was the only real choice. I get 95 miles to the gallon cutting my gas expenditure to around $100 a month,” said Raffa owner Christine Raffa. “Yes, I said month. With my SUV, I was paying about $650 for gasoline. It was ridiculous.”

Partnering with Balise, she says, was a no-brainer.

“[It] was an easy decision since taking care of the community is a focus for both businesses,” Raffa said. “They were very generous to donate the charging station to raise awareness to the community about electric cars. I think for them it’s beyond selling cars, it’s about education and helping the community.”

Camastro, too, says Balise chose to donate to Raffa Yoga because they share similar goals.

“I recognized Christine’s commitment to a top-flight product and her entrepreneurial energy. I admire her and want the same for my organization. There are many synergies that transcend both our clientele and related demographics,” he said.

Balise looks forward to continue to bring awareness to the benefits of the plug-in generation of cars to the economy and environment.


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