Discover how becoming more eco-friendly can improve your bottom line.
As a salon owner, managing your finances is one of the biggest parts of the job, and these days, being conscious about your salon’s impact on the environment is likely high on your list of priorities, too. In fact, becoming more environmentally efficient can also impact your finances in meaningful ways.
For Luis Pacheco, owner of Medulla & Co. in Toronto, being more environmentally aware has been and continues to be a growing consideration within his salon. “It started with LED lighting, and as technology improved, we’ve found additional ways to incorporate sustainable practices as we go,” he says.
While you may assume seemingly small changes don’t have much of an impact on the environment—or add up to significant savings as a salon owner—you’d be surprised to learn that the opposite is true in both cases. Here’s how you can make a difference across the board.
Be conscious of your water consumption. You may have a colourist with a habit of running water while mixing colour or gloss, and simply making sure they are aware of this wasteful habit can have a big impact. “We have a gas high efficiency system, which displaces CO2 emissions because of this change,” says Brian Phillips, owner of World Salon in Toronto. The takeaway: When you save on water usage, you’re also saving on electricity, allowing for double the savings.
Pacheco believes in associating his salons with brands that fall in line with his philosophy as an owner. “We look at them in terms of what they do with recycling, whether they test on animals and what they are doing with salons,” he says.
Phillips agrees. “Everything we use in the salon is toxin- free, and we are serious about having a clean, healthy and safe space.” Fortunately, companies like Green Circle have a clear understanding of the impact of foils and chemical colour processing, and offer programs that not only recycle, but also reuse salon waste in ways that benefit the environment.
Environmental Team Spirit
For Pacheco, being eco- conscious is a lifestyle for his whole team, and is one that requires a level of ongoing education. “Our practices are simple, really. Not overmixing colour, making sure that we have reusable gloves available, etc.,” he says. “There needs to be an overarching consistency of recycling and disposing of organic material properly, and everyone in the salon needs to be aware of what goes in which bin.” He adds that when in doubt, using your municipality’s recycling app as a reference tool comes in handy.
While long-term energy costs may be cheaper in a solar- powered salon, until that opportunity arises, Pacheco says there are many small changes that can be made to make a big difference when it comes to being energy efficient. Both he and Phillips suggest opting for LED lighting to start, and to look into which incentives your municipal or provincial government offer small businesses making conscious investments in reducing their energy consumption.
Keep Talking About It
Even if your salon doesn’t have the capacity to implement a program currently, if you have an idea that can minimize your energy footprint, consider talking to organizations that can make your concept a reality. “When Green Circle started, I approached them about ways in which we could dispose of colour, and as a result, hair colour now is disposed of in a safer way,” Pacheco says. The bottom line: When the goal is to help the environment, it’s worth asking questions and getting involved!