Eco-friendly is definitely a movement that is moving fast. From eco-friendly clothing and beauty products, to everything else in between, “eco-friendly” is a major buzzword these days. But, why should your salon consider going green? “Whether you believe the talk about climate change or limited resources, operating a salon in a sustainable fashion will create benefits through cost savings, healthy working environments, and good PR,” says Tamara Jercha, president and founder of the National Association of Eco-Friendly Salons & Spas. And guess what? Your clients are totally on board with the eco-friendly beauty movement! So climb aboard this green train and get all the need-to-know advice necessary for transforming your salon into an eco-friendly establishment.
What Does it Mean to Be Green?
Jercha says that “green” and “eco-friendly” are common terms used to describe what it means to be a sustainable salon. Sustainability is a fast growing mega-trend for businesses. “In short, it happens when a salon owner takes into consideration economic profits, environmental impacts and social equity,” she says.
“I believe that being eco-friendly has gone way past being a trend into being a responsibility,” says Jercha. She has undeniably seen an upsurge in green salons. Not only will you find hints of sustainability being practiced in salons but everywhere else, such as major corporations, department stores and private brands.
You aren’t the only one climbing aboard the eco-friendly train. Your clients are too! Eco-friendly salons smell better, use safer product lines and promote a healthy overall environment, according to Jercha. Your loyal clients are constantly involved in the green movement in their personal daily lives and would be more than pleased to be pampered in an eco-friendly salon.
Fast Steps to Becoming Green
Eco-friendly salons come in many different shapes and sizes. The one thing they all have in common is their care for solving the earth’s environmental issues by combining innovation, creativity and inspiration. Jercha suggests to start by focusing on three things; energy efficiency, water conservation and waste reduction.
- Get an energy audit. Many local utility companies offer them for free. You’ll find the biggest opportunities for energy savings in lighting; a lighting expert can help you plan for a lighting overhaul.
- Make sure to fix the leaks. A slow drip can waste 150–300 gallons a month and a fast drip can reach 600–900 gallons a month!
- Salon waste can be very challenging. Working with companies who specialize in salon waste will help you lower negative environmental impacts.
- Start by offering The Nail Superstore’s Red Dragon Steam Spa. It is entirely eco-friendly since it only takes 1 cup of water and uses steam. It will significantly reduce water consumption since just one traditional pedicure service takes over 3 gallons of water! It has no plumbing, and reduces electricity usage.
What About the Cost?
“The whole idea that being ‘green’ is expensive is a myth. There are many options for beginning an eco-friendly journey that costs very little, if nothing at all,” she says. “Mostly it can involve changing mindsets to include turning off a light or unplugging an appliance when not in use and these new habits are FREE!” There are some changes a salon can make that may cost money short term, but the return on investment should be relatively short and after that, the cost savings kick in!
Additionally, as the demand for more eco-friendly beauty products increases and more companies enter the market, supply increases and prices become lower. The days of charging more for eco-friendly products will soon diminish, says Jercha.
Tamara Jercha founded the National Association of Eco-Friendly Salons and Spas in 2009 with a mission to form a community of environmentally responsible business owners. Her primary role is to help all salon and spa professionals serving the public as well as serving each other through business to business relationships to operate in a sustainable, eco-friendly fashion. To learn more about the NAEFSS, head to www.naefss.org.