Going Green on a Smaller Scale

Beauty Salons & Spas Going Green on a Smaller Scale

Sustainability has been a high priority for businesses across many industries in recent years. We’ve all heard the promises from big businesses, but many small business owners are left wondering what sustainability looks likes for them.

For salons and spas, sustainability does not have to mean large monetary donations toward global efforts or rearranging entire business practices to “go green.” Beauty business owners should analyze their daily operations and see how small changes could make a big dent in their business’ eco footprint. A few of these small actions that offer big impacts include:

  • Operations: Several parts of a salon’s operations can be made more eco-friendly:
    • There are now paperless options for virtually every business need, from sending receipts via email to digital payroll management systems.
    • Consider installing window treatments or tinting the windows of the salon to manage temperature and installing energy efficient lightbulbs to reduce electricity usage.
    • Salon and spa owners should also research recycling programs to reduce waste. In addition to items like plastic, paper and glass, salons and spas can recycle certain products as well as human hair which can be used to make hair mats meant to clean up oil spills.
    • Additional sustainability measures in operations include reducing water usage and using cold water where possible, unplugging any equipment not being used and utilizing microfiber towels for increased absorbency to minimize dryer times.
  • Products & Services: Business owners should research the products they use as well as those they sell to clients. In their research, salon and spa owners should verify the ingredients and processes used to manufacture those products, as well as company values, align with the salon or spa’s sustainability position. While terms like “cruelty-free,” “non-toxic” or “made with raw ingredients” will help point business owners in the right direction, the emergence of “greenwashing” has proved the need for additional research and a thorough understanding of the products a salon or spa is offering.
  • Community: Salons and spas are often a big part of a community. Community green projects are a great way to elevate the business’ presence in the public and help maintain the community in the process. For example, for little to no cost, staff could participate in neighborhood clean-up projects, community gardening/landscaping events, even expanding the business’ recycling program out into the community.

While sustainability has taken on many new meanings over the years, salons and spas do not have to be intimidated by it. Implementing low or no-cost changes in the operation of a business not only helps the environment, but it can also save a salon or spa money. Salons and spa owners should sit down with their employees and discuss how they can make sustainability a team effort and priority.

Kathy Lopez, Account Manager for SASSI, the Salon and Spa Specialty Insurance program at Brownyard Group. She can be reached at klopez@brownyard.com.

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