How To: Small Steps Toward Environmental Sustainability

How To: Small Steps Toward Environmental Sustainability

Tonya Martin of G2 and Glo Recycling shares steps any salon owner or leader can take to be more environmentally conscious.

Tonya Martin, vice president of business development for G2 and Glo Recycling has years of experience helping companies large and small, including salons, sort through their waste challenges. She recaps 5 steps any salon owner or leader can take to be more environmentally conscious.

1. Make small steps toward zero waste. Look at your waste (plastic bottles, electronics, soaps, hair color containers, foil, gloves, hair, aerosols, nail polish) and apply the three Rs. Can you reduce the waste? Can you reuse the waste? Can you recycle it? Determine what materials make up the majority of your output. If you cannot reduce or reuse the material, implement a recycling program.

Don’t forget to consider your salon’s energy and water usage. Ensure staff knows your expectations and/or has access to a system to reduce unused color formulation. And try to remove single-use products from your salon.

2. Market your salon’s green beauty initiatives and philosophy. The best marketing comes from your stylists. Educate them on what is being reduced, reused or recycled so they can educate your clients. Name your program, get the team excited and post the results. A good program will include total weight and types of the materials recycled.

3. Carry eco-friendly product lines. Society is pivoting to eco-friendly products. This is no longer a "nice to have benefit," it is a demand by consumers. Sustainability is part of the purchasing decision. If you have not considered sustainability, if you are not advertising the sustainable aspects of your products and packaging, then your salon will miss out on revenue.

4. To “do it right,” be sure you do this: Salons that have a budget, an actionable recycling plan and marketing communication strategy are on a path to sustainability success. They select one or two recycling services, use them consistently, and report the results to their team and clients. Funding of recycling programs is often the biggest challenge. One creative way to fund a recycling program is to add “Green Salon Fee” line item (Glo suggests $1.50 to $2.00 per ticket) to the customer’s receipt with a note about what they are supporting.

5. Take your first—or next—steps and stay committed. The bottom line is the environmental impact. We need to preserve our natural resources, reduce the use of plastics and keep salon waste out of landfills. Progressive, thought-leading salons are carefully considering product packaging, product ingredients and overall sustainability commitments before selecting that brand for their own salon and clientele.

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