Everywhere you look, businesses are going green to help our environment. Beauty salons and spas are no exception, and many are trying to cut down their carbon footprint by becoming environmentally friendly. Being green is not just limited to the products you use; consumption of electricity and running water deplete the Earth’s natural resources.
Do you want to make changes, but are confused about where to start? It’s easier than you think! Here are some helpful tips that you can start implementing in your salon or spa right away!
10 Ways To Make Your Salon Green
Making your salon or spa "green" is all about the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. But do you worry this will change how you do business and what you can offer your clients? Not harming the environment doesn’t mean you will hurt the look and feel of your workplace. There are many actions you can take to create a more sustainable, eco-friendly business. Every little bit can help. Pick and choose what works best for your specific needs:
1. LED the Way: Swap all those incandescent and fluorescent bulbs for light-emitting diode (LED). According to the U.S. Department of Energy, quality LED light bulbs last longer, are more durable, and offer comparable or better light quality than other types of lighting. LED lights use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. Plus, LEDs emit light in a specific direction, reducing the need for reflectors and diffusers that can trap light. This feature makes LEDs more efficient for recessed downlights and task lighting - perfect for stylists, manicurists, estheticians and make-up artists.
2. Motion Sensors/Timers: Have motion sensors installed in areas like the bathroom and supply rooms. They detect movement which initiates the lights going on and off. This reduction in electricity use is not only green, but good for your wallet too - you won’t have to worry about anyone forgetting to turn off the lights and running up your electric bills. If you have control over the lighting outside your building and in your parking lot, put them on a timer. Adjust the time they go on and off to match sunrise/sunset during different parts of the year so you don’t have lights on when it is daylight.
3. Climate Control: Tint your windows. This isn’t the same as tinting hair. A film is placed over the window which blocks some of the sun’s UV rays from coming in. And, as a bonus, it reduces the heat and discomfort to clients who might be stuck in a chair with sun in their eyes. Plus, like motion sensors, this can lower your bills significantly. You can also use a programmable thermostat to cycle the temperature. There are even smart thermostats you can control from your phone when away from work with simple, easy-to-use apps.
4. Recycle and Repurpose: Recycle old equipment such as computers, dryers, and clippers instead of throwing them in the trash. There are places you can take them that will recycle or repurpose them; look up local recycling centers for specifics on who will take electrical equipment. Or, contact local public schools or beauty schools as they also might be able to put your cast-offs to good use.
5. Nix The Paper and Plastic: Instead of serving your customers drinks and snacks on paper or plastic, use ceramic coffee mugs and dishes that can be washed. It reduces waste. If you print marketing/promotional materials and business cards, use recycled paper. Or, instead of using paper, consider doing all your marketing via online social media sources and through email. For the paper products you do use on a daily basis, put a small recycle bin in a central area so both staff and customers use it. You don't have to use a bulky crate if it doesn't work with your décor - find a suitable receptacle and put a recycle sticker on it. You can then empty it into the proper bin at the end of the day, just like when you take the trash out.
6. Plants Are More Than Pretty: Adding potted plants in various areas around the salon will not only add a colorful splash of decor, they also serve as a natural source of oxygen and CO2 neutralizer. Select plants that are slow growing so there is not a lot of maintenance, and also choose ones that don't require a lot of water You can also add vases and fresh flowers and plants at individual stations.
7. Control the Flow: Salons use gallons of waters on a daily basis. Keep water use in check and only wash towels and wraps when there is a full load. Have all the pipes, toilets, and faucets checked regularly as leaks will make your bills high and also, waste water unnecessarily.
8. Be a Star: Make sure that any large appliances in your salon or spa, like washers/dryers, water heaters, or refrigerators are Energy Star certified. This means they have been independently certified to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality. Saving energy this way helps prevent climate change. Many utility companies offer discounts for businesses who use Energy Star products. You might also get tax breaks. Investigate what programs your local utilities offer for green businesses as well as speaking with an accountant to see if you can take advantage of any tax savings.
9. Power Down: When things aren’t being used, make sure they are either unplugged or turned off. Salon lights, hair dryers, computers, and any other electronics should not be connected or left on when the salon is closed. Did you know that even when an electrical item is not “on,” it still draws a small amount of power when plugged in? By taking the extra step of unplugging items not in use, you will save money on your electric bill and reduce your electric consumption. Too difficult to get to the wall outlets that might be hidden by furniture or equipment? Look for dryers and irons with shut-off timers as a small way to help that doesn't require any effort on your part.
10. Purchasing Patrol: Consider using products that are environmentally safe, made from recycled materials, or that are reusable to cut down on landfill waste. Many brands are joining the green movement, by switching formulas, removing harmful ingredients or offering alternatives. Be sure to advertise this to your clients so they will know that they are receiving quality services while helping keep our planet clean and healthy.
Graham PST Professional Service Towels #158, 50 Pack
This popular towel has a cult following among stylists and manicurists alike. They are thick, absorbent and strong - and are made from recycled paper.
This handy color accessory allows you to get every drop out of a tube of gel color or styling product. Why is this important? Getting everything out of a product's packaging means you avoid product waste and go through fewer tubes. Fewer tubes = less trash that could end up in a landfill.
Hot Tools Professional Black Gold Digital Salon Flat Iron 1"
Using electricals that have auto-shut-off is a great way to reduce your electric bills as well as prolong the life of your styling tools. This Hot Tools Professional iron shuts off after two hours of non-use.
Colortrak Black Reusable Gloves, 20 Pack
These lightweight, powder-free, textured, latex gloves are available in 3 sizes to comfortably fit anyone. But their best feature is the fact that they are reusable. You can save money on gloves as well as help save the environment at the same time.
Intrinsics Triple-Size Organic 100% Cotton Balls, 100 Pack
These triple-size cotton balls are made from 100% pure, USDA organic cotton, certified by Oregon Tilth. They provide superior performance for spas and salons, without taxing our environment during growth and production.
Soft Touch's disinfectable foot files are immersable, disinfectable and reusable. Longer use means less implements to toss away.
Going Green Doesn’t Hurt
On any given day, in any given salon or spa, tiny things you do at work can have a big impact. Turn off a light. Unplug a dryer. Recycle the junk mail. By conserving resources, your salon or spa can make our world a better place to live in now and for future generations. Small efforts can add up, creating a major impact on the health of our planet.