March 2009

Growing Greener in Beauty Schools

By Kyle Schoeneman

Achieving the designation of “Green Conscious Salon Certification” by the Florida Association of Beauty Professionals is something to be proud of for the Empire Beauty School in Lauderhill, Florida.

From hair recycling to building design to the products Empire Education Group students utilize, their new school is an environmentally-friendly concept school and a meaningful first step in the greening of the entire company.

Incorporating easy, yet meaningful, steps that any salon or school can follow to both help the environment and save money at the same time proves every little step matters.

Empire Education Group is committed to becoming more environmentally conscious. “We want green to be stylish for our schools,” they say, “and help our students and faculty learn practices that they can incorporate into their lives, as well.” Each day the students and staff live by a set of core values that enable them to create opportunities for people to improve their lives. By taking more and more steps toward protecting the earth, opportunities are being created for generations to come.

Because they are so proud of their Green Conscious Salon Certification they want to share some of the significant eco-friendly design features taken that can easily be adapted by any salon or school without a significant investment:

Installing water saving devices for a 50 percent reduction in water consumption in shampoo sinks, 50 percent reduction in hand washing faucets and a 60 percent reduction in front load washing machines, which also result in a reduced drying time for salon hand towels.

Another important initiative is launching a new partnership with a hair recycling program run by Matter of Trust, a non-profit organization that collects human hair to be used in the cleanup of oil spills. (www.matteroftrust.org.)

Hair is extremely efficient at collecting oil, including petroleum, out of the air, off surfaces and even out of the water. Matter of Trust creates “hairmats,” which have proven to be very effective in the cleanup of spills. The hair can also be used to surround and contain a spill. According to Matter of Trust, the average salon collects about one pound of hair a day, most of which currently goes into the waste stream, whereas much more could be going into the creation of hair mats that help clean and protect our environment.

The bottom line is that the current “green movement” is not simply a trend. Countless surveys show that American consumers are more likely to alter their buying habits when presented with an earth-friendly alternative. Empire has recognized that caring for the earth is permanently in style, and we are committed to doing our part.

Kyle Schoeneman is director of new media and markets for Empire Education Group. For the past 75 years, Empire has grown to have 87 accredited cosmetology schools in 18 states. Empire graduates over 8,000 students annually. Schools accredited under Empire Education Group include: Empire Beauty Schools, Artistic Beauty Colleges, Blaine, Concorde Academy, European Academy, The Hair Design School and Natural Motion Institute. For more information go to www.empire.edu.