6 Ways to Make Your Salon Greener

Going green is more than just a trendy way to save the turtles: research shows that two-thirds of Americans prefer eco-friendly businesses, and 50% of consumers have become more eco-friendly in the last six months. Making your salon or spa more eco-friendly can help you build your brand, attract more customers, and even save some green. But “eco-friendly” can mean a lot of different things – and it’s tough to know where to start. We put together a list of six ways to make your salon greener to help you get started.

1. Use Zero-Waste Recyclable Products and Containers

We know that our oceans are drowning in plastic, and that even when we put our things in the blue bin, only 9% of plastic is actually recycled. One of the main reasons why is that we’re recycling the wrong way, or putting plastics that can’t actually be reused into the bin. For starters, make sure you’re familiar with the recycling rules in your area, as each city or town might have different requirements. For example, some towns won’t recycle plastic if there’s leftover food or chemical residue, while others may lack the facilities to recycle glass.

Similarly, you’d be surprised how much unrecyclable, single-use plastic you’re using (and wasting). Wrapping on shipments, single-use bags within boxes, flimsy containers – all of it adds up. Nowadays, many zero-waste branded products are also including thoughtful packaging to reduce the amount of plastic-waste, but you should pay attention to all the little things too (even your snacks!)

2. Use Vegan/Cruelty-Free Products

Vegan products, like recyclable ones, can go a long way in reducing your carbon footprint. These are products made without animal byproducts or animal testing, instead opting for plant-based or reusable materials. You don’t have to want to save the animals either: vegan products are often made with sustainable materials in zero-waste facilities. And although you can argue using animal byproducts isn’t “wasteful,” the act of raising and rearing animals can be.

Don’t worry, vegan and cruelty-free products don’t skimp on the details either: natural ingredients are actually better for your body, comparably priced, and just as good as animal-based products. Your clients will look as good, and feel so much better when you use vegan products.

3. Implement Eco-Friendly Decor

If you own your own salon, you know how important it is to create a safe, inviting space for your clients. Switching your salon to eco-friendly decor can help reduce your salon’s footprint and create an atmosphere that respects the earth while comforting your clients. Consider using furniture and decorations made from recycled materials like ocean plastic or bamboo, filling your space with plants and natural light, or up-cycling materials from your home to fill out your space.

4. Use Ammonia-Free Hair Color Treatments

Ammonia: you know the smell. Color treatments using ammonia-based products don’t just make your eyes itch and your throat burn, it can seriously harm your hair and even the environment around you. Ammonia is one of the main sources of nitrogen pollution in the world, particularly through industrial runoff, which can kill fish and destroy marine ecosystems. Worse, it can make your hair look dry and dead.

Switching to ammonia-free products can reduce your impact on the environment, save your breathing, and make your clients’ hair shine brilliantly and healthily. These days, most beauty supply companies offer ammonia-free products, making it easier than ever to make the change.

5. Use and Offer Refillable Products

If your salon offers products for sale, consider switching to refillable containers rather than single-use bottles. This can make a huge dent in your (and your clients’) plastic waste, while giving your clients an incentive to keep engaging with your business between appointments. Offering refillable products allows you to buy in bulk, and can help you reduce product costs. And, if you build an eye-catching refilling station with up-cycled or eco-friendly decor, you can kill two birds with one stone.

6. Save and Conserve Energy

One of the most impactful ways you can make your salon greener is by saving and reducing your energy consumption. For starters, consider how you’re using energy today, and take simple steps to reduce consumption like:

  • Unplugging appliances when you’re done
  • Shutting the lights when you leave
  • Using cold water when washing towels
  • Turning down the heat
  • Conserving water and shutting off faucets

In the long run, consider investing in energy-reducing solutions like:

  • Installing energy-saving light fixtures
  • Upgrading insulation around windows and doors
  • Upgrading your boiler/heater to an energy-efficient one
  • Buying new, energy-efficient appliances

Making your salon more eco-friendly is one of the most important steps you can take on your path to sustainability. Every effort you make, big or small, counts. You’ll save money, win more customers, and help save the earth in the process.

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