In an effort to help salons and spas create a greener tomorrow, the Professional Beauty Association is providing 10 small, yet realistic steps to help the environment.
1. Talk to your coworkers. Respect that everyone is not going to be interested in going green to the same degree. Find at least one person who is passionate, but not militant, about the green effort to help the salon/spa alter the way it does business. Others will generally follow suit once the culture has changed.
2. Hold a “go green” contest for your customers. Sponsor a contest aimed at your customers to find the best “green” idea they can come up with. Not only will a great idea possibly be discovered for your business, but it also helps build goodwill among your customers and the community.
3. Change the outside light bulbs. The most common suggestion everyone has heard is to use more energy efficient fluorescent bulbs, however the light given off is not always the most flattering. Take a small step by just changing the exterior bulbs at your salon and home.
4. Fix the leak already. Whether it’s your toilet bowl or shampoo bowl, take 15 minutes to call a plumber and finally get it fixed. This act alone can save more than 2,600 gallons of water a year.
5. Reduce the water pressure. When the plumber is done fixing the leak, have him reduce the water pressure in the sinks and toilets. This will also help cut down on the amount of water used.
6. Use new green appliances. People would be surprised by how much power a hair dryer uses or the energy lost by a curling iron left on. Major beauty companies are launching new appliances designed to use less power and go into hibernation mode quickly, then regain full heat immediately.
7. Unplug, unplug, unplug. By taking an extra minute to unplug appliances — from the radio to the hot wax machine — you will save energy since power is still being used even when the machine is not.
8. Ban water bottles. Even with recycling, all those 12-oz. water bottles add up in landfills, and many get into waterways. Take a step by requiring team members to bring their own reusable cup or bottle. Purchase a small water filter for the salon so water tastes better.
9. Insist on green cleaning supplies. While cleaning with eco-friendly vinegar is great, let’s face it — it stinks. Work with your cleaning company or change the cleaning products you buy to those that are gentler on the environment and do not use harmful toxic substances. (If you do want to use vinegar, grab an old spray bottle and mix 50% water and 50% vinegar. It works wonders.)
10. Support less packaging. Reward companies that use less packaging and use recycled materials (that information is usually on the packaging.) While consumers love pretty packaging, everyone must stop and understand that less is more.