I’m not exactly an environmental activist, although my staff will tell you that I’m overzealous when it comes to recycling. And we certainly don’t work in an industry that’s as “natural” as, say, forestry. But there are so many easy things that nail professionals can do to improve the health of the planet that I wanted to point some of those out. Despite what Kermit the Frog says, it IS easy being green.

I’m sure you want to leave the planet as clean as possible for your kids and grandkids (of course, those mothers among us might ask: “Why should I leave the planet clean for them when they don’t leave the kitchen clean for me?” but that’s another matter).

Let’s start with product disposal. I know it can be a gigantic pain to deal with old polish but you shouldn’t throw it in the trashcan. Disposal of polish in most cities requires special handling. You’ll have to check with your city, but, for example, in California, you have to take it to a special dump that collects such things as paint cans, old computers, dead batteries, and the like.

What to do with that unused liquid and powder at the end of the day? Combine them together and make a solid ball and throw the hardened ball in the trash. Obviously the less product you put in the dappen dish in the first place, the less you’ll have to waste (not to mention, the fewer problems you’ll have with product contamination).

As for the super-easy stuff: Could you take five minutes and put old magazines, newspapers, and white paper in a recycling bin? Instead of tossing out empty water bottles or soda cans, can you collect them in a bin for city pickup? Nearly all cities have pickup for this kind of recycling. Old corrugated cardboard (which most of your mailed deliveries come in) is also highly recyclable (and even reusable).

Besides the warm fuzzy feeling you get by doing the right thing, having a recycling program and a “green salon” is a powerful marketing statement. Not all clients care whether you are or aren’t green, but the ones who do care a lot.

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