Where do you begin once your salon has decided to go green? The Green Spa Network (www.greenspanetwork.org) offers these easy-to-implement tips that can help reduce the environmental footprint of your salon. You can start with just a few.
> Install low-flow faucet aerators to reduce water use by location up to 50%. This reduces water-heating needs as well. Confirm that low-flow showerheads are installed.
> Water landscaping in the morning to reduce loss due to evaporation. If using a municipal water supply, install filters to prevent chlorine from entering the outdoor environment.
> Purchase unbleached paper products. Paper towels, toilet paper, coffee filters, and many other products have excellent quality and cost-effective alternatives.
> Recycle and let guests know this is your practice by providing tasteful recycling cans for their use. Also recycle and use refillable toner and ink cartridges.
> Precycle — reduce waste before you buy. When purchasing, consider the packaging that comes with the product as one of the factors in determining your choice.
> Ask guests if they would like a bag, rather than just assuming. Provide your guests with packaging (bags, tissue, etc.) made from significant amounts of post-consumer recycled materials.
> Purchase office paper with recycled content, make two-sided copies when feasible, and use waste to make your own scratch pads.
> Encourage carpooling, using public transportation, or riding/walking to work.
> Use rechargeable batteries.
> Prevent pests naturally by using alternative pesticides.
> Store and dispose of hazardous materials properly. Many commonly used products are hazardous to the environment. Identify those of concern in your facility and investigate alternatives for future purchases.
> Buy organic when possible.
> Do an energy audit of your facility, including heating, lighting, and insulation.
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