Expert Advice

Salon owners talk about their green initiatives

July 10, 2011 | 9:53 PM
Q: What programs have you implemented to keep your staff and/or clients involved in making your salon green?

Salon owners talk about their green initiativesA:

"We recycle all plastic and paper waste, including plastic caps of product bottles," say James and Janelle Goking, co-owners, Entourage Salon and Spa in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

"Entourage clients are encouraged to save product caps and return them to the salon [an Aveda program]. For every bag of caps a client returns, they are entered into a drawing for a free service. It is our goal to collect and deliver a full truckload of caps to Aveda by year's end.

"Every April, we join Aveda in its efforts to raise awareness and money to support clean water projects and environmental initiatives. Entourage, along with local businesses, donate products and services for bid via a silent auction at our salon. The money is donated to a local organization that promotes conservation.

"As part of our continuing efforts of being an eco-friendly business, this year we are transitioning from halogen lighting to LED technology. Although the initial investment in the LED bulbs seemed cost prohibitive ($40 per LED bulb versus $5 per halogen bulb), further research proved otherwise. Not only is LED technology good for the environment, it also makes sense from a business standpoint:
• Reduces energy consumption for salon lighting by 90 percent. The energy consumed by the 50-watt halogen lights use more than 500 watts per hour per bulb. Comparatively, the LEDs replacing them use only five watts per hour per bulb.
• Reduces landfill refuse. Conversion to the LEDs means we will replace and dispose of zero bulbs over a 13.5-year period as compared to approximately 1,000 halogen bulbs over the same period.

"Our heating and cooling systems at our salon are controlled by ‘seven-day thermostats.' This allows us to maintain set heating and cooling temperatures during periods of occupancy. To conserve energy, set points are reduced by five degrees and cooling set points are increased by 10 degrees during non-occupancy periods."

Salon owners talk about their green initiatives: "Each staff member is committed to the company's environmental sustainability mission and is responsible for their own environmental footprint," says Andrea Eaton, general manager, Paris Parker Aveda Salons and Spas in Hammond, Louisiana. "We have recycling stations throughout each salon, and we collect plastic bottle caps in our locations, as part of Aveda's global bottle cap recycling initiative. Our colorists also use the Headmapping hair color system which helps to measure amounts of hair color needed for each service, therefore eliminating waste.

"For our consumers, we now use e-mail as our main marketing tool, eliminating the use of paper and waste. Anything we print is done so on recycled paper with soy ink. The salons are very passionate about Earth Month- Aveda's annual global fundraising initiative- and conduct a number of events throughout April to raise money for our Earth Month partners, engaging customers where appropriate.

"In April 2009, Paris Parker Salons and Spas conducted cut-a-thons, fashion shows and numerous ‘Walks for Water.'

"In New Orleans, we partnered with a local fair trade boutique: In Exchange (on Tulane University's campus). The last two years we have put on green fashion shows to raise money toward the funds. In 2009, we also partnered with the "The Green Project" as a sponsor (also did hair and make-up) for their Recycle for the Arts Fashion Show."

Salon owners talk about their green initiativesA: "Tru Salon has implemented green practices that help both our staff and clients be more Earth-friendly," says Cheryl Duignan, co-owner of Tru Salon in St. James, New York.

"Our Buy Back Program offers clients who purchase any of our Earth-friendly products to bring them back after use and get money toward their next product purchase. Then we recycle them. We have implemented the same technique with color bottles and cans. All of the used cans and bottles are given back to us so they are not wasted.

"We used to have paper bags-now we use eco-friendly, reusable bags. They are all natural and non-toxic and distributed to clients who buy any of our products. "We also provide our guests with glasses and mugs instead of disposable cups to keep us from using paper or foam. Guests can then fill their glasses with filtered water, rather than bottled water.

"Tru Salon is currently in the process of refurbishing all of our chairs. Instead of throwing them away we are going to recycle them, keeping our salon ‘green.' Our salon does 99 percent of its advertising via e-mail instead of sending out paper announcements and we only use non-toxic cleaners and office supplies."

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