Small steps to a big change. 20 tips to make your salon more eco-friendly
You want your salon to become more eco-friendly, you truly do. But when looking for ideas on how to make your business less straining for the environment, you find lots and lots of advice that is completely out of touch with reality. You cannot afford to buy a whole new set of sustainable showerheads. It’s not attainable for you to install solar panels. Your customers won’t stop using straighteners and curling irons if you educate them on non-heat updos. You love all of those great eco-friendly inventions and ideas and hope that one day you will be able to invest in them. However, when doing your monthly turnover check, you can clearly see that your business won’t survive such expenses in the foreseeable future. So you get discouraged and give up completely.
Stop and wait a minute! There are many things you can do to turn your salon into a more environmentally-friendly place and some of them won't even cost you a pound. It’s more about introducing healthy habits than buying fancy machinery. What are the small green practices that lead to a big change?
20 little things to add to your routine
Cut the usage of harmful materials (such as plastic) whenever you can. Never offer your customers drinks in disposable cups and with plastic straws - use metal or glass straws and reusable cups. Whenever you can, purchase boxes instead of bottles. Speak to your suppliers and ask them to reduce the amount of packaging they deliver your products in. You can also ask them if it is possible to give them the packaging back so that they can reuse it.
Did you know that hair clippings make great compost? Find out if your local allotments, wormeries or botanic gardens are interested in hair waste donations. On a more global scale, hair can be repurposed to make nets that then help to soak up oil spills in the oceans. Research whether it is an option available in your area - maybe you can donate the hair clippings to this righteous cause!
The most basic task is to equip your salon with recycling bins for paper, plastics, glass and hair-colouring tubes. However, you have to remember that unfortunately, not all types of plastic are recyclable (yet) - find out what grades of plastic are accepted for recycling in your area. If it is possible, look for brands that sell retail in recyclable packaging that does not contain Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Phthalates.
Several retail brands offer a refill program that not only reduces waste but is also very economical for you in the long run. Check whether this option is available for you. Moreover, you can run a refill station program yourself, offering discounts to clients who come to purchase your retail products with their own containers.
Consider water purification instead of buying bottled water
The extensive use of bottled water is a huge problem, so you may want to consider alternatives. You can invest in a water purification system, in which price and scope of work depend on numerous factors, such as a technique of purification, size and complexity. Such a solution isn’t the most affordable one, so for the time being, you may purchase single tap water filters - they are great if you need to filter drinking and cooking water only.
Consider foil alternatives
Unless it is rinsed immediately after use and is completely clean, a foil cannot be recycled. There are alternatives - Paper Not Foil offers sustainable hair “foils” made out of paper, that can be reused up to three times, are recyclable, compostable and produce no toxic waste.
Pack your groceries and other products in cloth bags
Whenever you buy some products for your salon in person, be equipped with paper or cloth bags - plastic ones are not an option!
Pack retail products in cloth or eco-friendly paper bags
Paper bags are biodegradable - unfortunately, producing them in large quantities requires a lot of water, fuel and trees. Aim for cloth bags, and when choosing paper ones, look for recyclable ones.
Reduce the use of light
Do you really need to have all the lights lit in your salon at all times? Most probably - no. Consider installing dimmer switches, fixtures activated by motion detection and look for equipment with energy-saving features. Instruct staff to turn off lights in break and storage rooms before leaving them.
Use energy-efficient bulbs
Mind the type of light bulbs you use - CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) last 10 times longer and use 66% less energy than incandescent bulbs while delivering the same levels of brightness.
Take care of your water heater
Some water heaters’ energy efficiency can be improved by insulating them properly. Moreover, consider turning the heat down a little - most heaters are set to heat the water to 60°C, which is completely unnecessary. Turning it down to 50° will allow you to save 10-15% on your energy bill.
Adjust the thermostat
In the range of ideal room temperature (15-22°C), slight changes are hardly noticeable, but can not only save you money, but also prevent the emission of nearly 499 kilograms of carbon dioxide annually. All it takes is to turn the thermostat 2°C down in the winter (so it doesn't have to warm up so much) and 2°C up in the summer (so it doesn't have to cool down so much).
Open or close the blinds
Did you know that a lot of heat can get into your salon simply through your windows? Close your blinds on warm days to reduce wasting energy on cooling (and to cut costs). Similarly, open them up on cold days to reduce your heating expenses.
Look for leaks around the salon
Statistics show that somewhere between 10% and 30% of energy costs are due to air leaks that could’ve been sealed. Run a test in your salon to find out if you have this problem as well.
Fix leaky taps and toilets
It may seem like “just a few droplets”, but leaky taps and toilets can truly waste a lot of water. Check the state of your sanitary areas regularly.
Run only full loads in washing machines (and dishwashers) and choose an energy-efficient model
“Empty runs” are awfully wasteful. Waiting until your washing machine is full of towels (and dishwasher full of dishes) is a simple way to conserve both energy and water, as well as reduce CO2 emissions.
Use natural cleaners
Some cleaning chemicals are very harsh for both the environment and you (eg. can be allergy and asthma triggers). Look for more green alternatives.
Use and sell cruelty-free products exclusively
Look for the symbols such as the Leaping Bunny (certified by Cruelty-Free International), Caring Consumer (certified by PETA) and CCF Rabbit (certified by Choose Cruelty-Free).
Support sustainable transport
You cannot force your team members to stop using cars, however, you can encourage them to carpool or ride bikes - reward their eco-friendliness with a little monthly bonus, like tickets to the movies.
On average, it takes 5 litres of water to produce one piece of A4 paper and as for now, paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste and 33% of municipal waste. That should be enough reason to stop with the excessive use of paper, especially in the salon, where you have to take many notes every day.
Fortunately, there are great alternatives available - such as our system. As of 2018, 359 million tonnes of plastic were placed on the market. 40% of them were packaging, used just once and then discarded. 90.5% is the proportion of plastic waste that has never been recycled.
It is estimated that by 2025, half of the world population will be living in water-stressed areas. By 2050, energy-related emissions will increase by 70% which can accelerate the negative consequences of climate change, including higher temperatures and a rise in the frequency of extreme weather events. It takes 24 trees on average to produce a ton of paper, while the average office worker in the UK uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. Out of them, 6,800 are wasted.
Do not add more strain on the planet - adjust your business routine just a little bit and become a proud part of the change. Start right now and stop wasting paper with the help of our all-in-one salon software!