Posted on April 19, 2017
Being green isn’t just a fad — and it isn’t nearly as hard as Kermit the Frog would have you believe, either! The trick to transforming your salon into an environmental paradise stretches back to some pretty simple math you learned in elementary school. We’re talking about basic addition. When you add up little numbers, they’ll make a bigger number. And when you add up little eco-friendly changes, they’ll make a big difference for our planet. Read on for some insanely simple ways to go green this spring.
Sustainable by Design
Let’s start with the fun stuff: Decorating! Eco-friendly décor is any decoration or furnishing that is produced sustainably or made from recycled or repurposed materials. Upcycled lamps, recycled wood chairs — even thrift store finds qualify, since your purchase keeps items out of landfills. Brownie points if the products you purchase support a local business, which not only bolsters your neighborhood’s economy, but also cuts down on shipping waste and gas consumption, too.
While you’re out shopping for interiors, we recommend taking your newfound green mission literally, and grabbing a few potted plants for your salon. A well-curated shelf of houseplants or a live centerpiece doesn’t just look stunning: Plants produce oxygen, which can offset carbon dioxide emissions, making the air you and your clients breath more healthful.
Wash Towels Efficiently
On washday, it’s best to use gentle, all-natural laundry detergent. One more thing: Don’t run your washing machine until you have a full load of towels to wash. That’s one easy way to conserve water and energy.
It’s 2017, and you don’t need paper invitations and old-school flyers to get the word out about your business. Green up by building a marketing campaign around social media, and use email or text marketing as your main mode of client communication. For paperwork, consider switching to a cloud-based system; we promise you won’t miss disorganized, overstuffed file folders. But what about business cards, you ask? Fine. Maybe you’ll need to use a little, tiny bit of paper. But consider having business cards – and maybe some stationary – printed on 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper.
You won’t be able to revamp your salon’s entire lighting scheme, but you can still reduce the amount of energy expended by switching off the bulbs whenever you leave the room.
Don’t worry! We aren’t talking about unplugging from your mobile device. We’re just suggesting you unplug electrical items – hairdryers, curling irons, et cetera – when they aren’t in use. This is another straightforward way to cut down your salon’s energy consumption with minimal effort.
Launch a Recycling Program
Buy a trash can for recycling, mark it accordingly, place it next to your regular trash bin, and — voilà! You’ve just started your very own on-site recycling program. Many municipalities accept mixed recycling nowadays, so you shouldn’t need to sort your stash. (But do check on that before you get rolling.) Be diligent about putting recyclable objects in the correct bin, and kindly ask clients to do the same. Ready to take your recycling program to the next level? Call up organizations in your area, and see if any of them can use leftover hair in wigs.
It’s hard to ignore the fact that we live in a disposable world. Want to know one of the easiest ways to reduce waste? Buy items that are well made. While it’s tempting to purchase cheap, throwaway interiors and supplies, replacing those items creates a lot of physical waste for our overtaxed landfills. Bonus: You’ll likely end up saying money in the long run if you buy something that’s built to last.
You’ll have to keep your salon clean, of course, and we recommend ditching harsh cleansers and detergents for sustainable, eco-friendly products, which can be purchased just about anywhere, including Target and Walmart. When you’re buying, say, a new spray for your countertops, read the label carefully. Avoid products containing chlorine, phthalates, ammonia, and sodium hydroxide. Also, consider stocking your supply cabinet with chlorine-free paper towels made with recycled content — or, better yet, switch to microfiber clothes that can be washed and reused.
If our tips have inspired you to launch your own “green” program, don’t forget to share your new mission with your clients. Who knows? You might become their source of inspiration for conscious living.