We live in a world where being environmentally minded is not only a necessity for the health of the planet, but it also happens to be a very hip and marketable practice. Everyone is trying to be more environmentally sound, from big box stores to mom and pop shops in small town United States. Reduce, reuse, and recycle are part of everyday vernacular. Being green at the end of the day is about making conscious decisions about how individuals consume and live their daily lives. As aestheticians, that means making little decisions regularly within the aesthetics practices that have a big impact on the environment. You may not realize it, but there is a good chance you are already one step ahead of the game to having a greener practice. Here are five simple ways to make an aesthetics practice greener overnight.
Use less cotton
Every facial uses tons of cotton and where does it end up? In the trash – used once and chucked. This is a horrifying practice. Keep cotton (gauze, pellon, and paper products) to a minimum. Invest in some good towels instead or use reusable cotton baby diapers (without the liner) as half of towels because they are smaller, so they take up less room in the washer, and they are super durable. Go to the baby section in a store and check them out.
Switch incandescent light bulbs to LED
This allows the spa to pay less on its electric bill and uses way less energy. The bulbs also happen to live as long as a human, so they will not need to be switched often.
Recycle whatever and whenever possible. An empty mask jar – repurpose or recycle it. Do not forget to clean it first though. Those cardboard boxes a new handheld device came in – break them down and recycle them. Keep it out of the garbage and it is a win for everyone.
Add plants to the treatment room
They look pretty, they make people happy, and they clean the air. No light or low light? No problem – get a snake plant, angel fern, or pathos. They need barely any light at all to live happily. Just water and enjoy.
Use organic and biodynamic products
It seems like this would be a given to greening a practice but use organic and biodynamic skin care products at every chance. Commit to going green and swap out an entire line if necessary. Even if it is one product at a time, make a change to supporting companies that are healthier for clients and the environment. It can be more costly to go organic, so take baby steps and start with one product at a time. There is no need to dive in headfirst, but it will not hurt either.
Starting with these five simple steps, any spa can make an effort to be greener and have a long-lasting impact on clients and the environment.
Schreiber is a New York State licensed massage therapist, cosmetologist specializing in aesthetic science, and electrologist. With over 16 years of experience in the industry, her work has brought her everywhere from the classroom, to her certified-green spa – The Windham Spa, to the United States. Olympic Training Center and beyond. Outside of the treatment room, she is a writer, speaker, and consultant with the New York State Department of Education, leading education firms and industry magazines. Her current passion projects include treatment research and development for patients, and assisting in the development of the U.S. Paralympic Bobsled and Skeleton Team.