Going Green Tips for Your Salon

By Dayna Cakebread

Before I became a green-conscience salon expert, I had always recycled as I best knew how: I recycled paper waste, and I sold and used green-minded hair care lines.

I started with Aveda in 1991, and for the past five years I have been with Davines (www.davines.com) and Kevin Murphy (www.kevinmurphy.com.au) hair care.

These are two products that perform well with all hair types, for everyday styling and for high fashion styling. They help the environment while making humans look and feel beautiful. Now with the support of Best Business Center in Portland, Ore. for sustainable business practices, I can live and work in a healthy environment.

10 Ways to Start Greening Your Salon:

1. Check your electric bill for the amount of money spent then go to www.carbonfootprint.com/businesscalculator.aspx to look up your carbon foot print.

2. Switch all of your light bulbs to Soft White Compact Fluorescent, the best for salon lighting. (26 watt = 100 watts or 14 watts= 60 watts… these bulbs cannot be used with dimmer switches). Traditional bulbs allow your fixtures to pull small amounts of energy even when the lights are turned off. When you change over to the compact fluorescents you will notice that the light takes a second or two to turn on… this is because the bulbs are not pulling energy when off, and they need an extra moment to gather a full charge. My bill was cut below half after the first month.

3. Change your break room, bathroom and treatment rooms to sensor light systems. These will keep the light usage down in places where people often forget to turn them off. You can use low wattage lights, the compact fluorescents do not work with sensor systems.

4. Water flow/ usage can add up, both in terms of environmental waste and in terms of cost. Use sink tap flow reducing rings that help avoid over using water. The best way is to note your sink faucet size and ask your hardware clerk to help find the part you need.

5. Turning the hot water temperature down from 140 degrees to 120 can save six–ten percent in energy costs.

6. Insulating your water heater and hot water pipes is something that everyone should do (both home and biz). They make water heater blankets that you can buy at the hardware store for usually around $20. It can save six to nine percent on energy use for the water heater. Putting a timer on the water heater can also save energy, especially if the salon is only open five to six days a week.

Here’s more information from the federal site on water heaters: www.energysavers.gov/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/ mytopic=13090

7. Change your cleaning supplies to eco / human friendly: start with any Green Seal Certified products http://www.greenseal.org/ findaproduct.

8. Notice your salon waste: How much is hair, foil, cups and paper? I have a few solutions.

a. Mark and label three metal garbage cans: Hair Recycling, Paper Product Recycling, and Foil Recycling (all aluminum can be recycled in most cities… keep them in tight round balls so they can be easily sorted).

b. Contact www.matteroftrust.org/ programs/hairmatsinfo.html to see about donating your hair clipping for oil spill clean-up. The postage for sending boxes of hair is a write-off, plus the hair weighs practically nothing.

c. Contact local gardeners co-op / urban farms for hair clipping donations. Hair can be mixed with the soil to help in many ways around the planets and trees. Hair can also be used to help insulate during the colder months. Google search this topic to find uses for hair clippings in your community.

9. Choose to use recycled papers, compost-able drinking cups made from corn. Ask all employees/staff members to bring in reusable dishware.

10. Join a green cause to help reduce your carbon footprint. The Davines Zero Impact Program for salons is one way to get involved (they plant trees to help offset your carbon foot print). Or donate to http://www.carbonfootprint.com

Do your part by educating yourself, your staff and your clients on how to continue this green movement for better, more sustainable lifestyles.

Dayna Cakebread is owner of Belle Epoque Salon in Portland, Oregon.

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