November 20, 2021

10 Ways To Become An Eco-Friendly Salon

salon
10 Ways To Become An Eco-Friendly Salon

The environment is crying out for change. We only have one planet, and our current trajectory is setting us on a path to destruction. Our current lifestyles are not sustainable, and we all need to take responsibility for implementing eco-friendly changes. As a salon owner, you have an opportunity to lead by example and make your salon kinder to the environment.

Going green is not only great for the environment but it could also be excellent for your wallet. You don’t have to invest a lot of money to go green, and you can often save money by choosing greener options. There are plenty of money-saving opportunities to be found here, and it could also mean a big boost for business if clients respond to the changes.

What is an eco-friendly salon?

Salons are getting more and more eco-friendly. Going green is becoming a trend. A green salon is one that only uses eco-friendly products for its customers.

The definition of an eco-friendly salon is different for everyone depending on what you find eco-friendly. Some people may think that the best way to make your salon environmentally friendly is not using chemicals or other products that have been tested on animals while others might think the beverages served in the salon should be organic and locally sourced.

In general, it’s all about considering the impact your salon has on the wider world. The products you use and sell. The way you clean your salon. The energy you use. And where you source items you need to run your business.

Do customers care?

Yes, an increasing number of customers are looking for eco-friendly alternatives to their usual service providers. Advertising your green credentials could help to convince those in the area who care about going green to give you a try. Existing customers will see no change to the way you operate, so if they don’t care about going green, then it won’t affect them.

10 Ways To Become An Eco-Friendly Salon

You don’t have to switch to hemp shampoo or apple cider vinegar conditioner to improve your eco-credentials. There are plenty of ways you can go green without impacting the customer experience. 

Below, we outline 10 ways you can make your salon more eco-friendly, and then we explore how to communicate these changes to your customers. Remember, these changes will be good for your wallet and good for the environment. 

Go paperless

The salon industry has been going paperless for a while now. This is not only thanks to the improvement of technology but also thanks to the awareness of the environment.

Paperless means a lot of things, but it generally means going green. For example, you might switch entirely to a digital platform to maintain your customer database and appointments. You can also go paperless when tracking inventory and orders. 

This is not only good for the environment, but it's also easier on your wallet as you reduce your expenses by using less paper and printer ink. Going paperless should also extend to your marketing materials, including loyalty cards. Using our salon software, you can create digital loyalty cards to help bring customers back to your salon.

Switch to disposable towels

Towels are an important part of the salon experience. They are used to dry customers’ hair after washing, draping around the neck, and so on. Switching to any single-use product might sound counterintuitive when you are trying to save the environment, but disposable towels are different. Disposable towels are made from biodegradable materials that break down in 8-12 weeks.

They are more hygienic than reusable towels and are just as efficient. You’ll also save a lot of energy on washing and drying your towels, not to mention the chemical cleaners needed to get your towels clean. Keeping towels clean after they are used for rinsing hair dye and bleach is no easy task, so you’ll be grateful for a single-use alternative.

Upgrade your lightbulbs

Lighting in a salon is important for a number of reasons. It helps to set the mood, creates a welcoming environment, and also allows stylists to see exactly what they are doing. When the time comes to upgrade your light bulbs, consider choosing LED bulbs.

LED bulbs are more expensive than their incandescent counterparts so many people have been reluctant to make the switch. This reluctance will hopefully soon be put to rest because LED light bulbs last longer and use less electricity, which means that they save salon owners money in the long run.

Cut out single-use plastics

The salon industry is a major contributor to plastic pollution. Many salons use plastic cups, straws, and other single-use plastics. While these are sometimes unavoidable, make sure you use recycling schemes wherever possible. 

Awareness of single-use plastics is growing in the beauty industry with many chemicals in shampoos and conditioners leading to plastic residue on the scalp after an application. While most salon-quality hair care products will not contain plastics, you can help your customers by increasing awareness of plastics in shampoo and conditioner products.

Use natural products

Many beauty products contain harmful chemicals and dyes that could cause a number of different problems. It is important to read labels carefully and look for natural alternatives when possible.

A healthy lifestyle should include healthy hair care, so it is always a good idea to use natural products in salons. Salon products today are made from all-natural ingredients without any synthetic chemicals or dyes. Pay close attention to the ingredients in the products you use and sell to make your salon more eco-friendly.

Offer product refills

You can help your customers to make better choices about their beauty products and reduce the number of single-use plastics you sell by offering product refills. These are popular with customers as it means they can bring a container from home and fill up on shampoo and conditioner for less.

Offering product refills is a great way to expand your retail sales without adding more plastic pollution to the world. All you need is a large container of each product and a weighing station. Decide how much to charge per gram, weigh the container before, fill it up and then weigh it again. This also allows customers to only take what they need, which is perfect if they are travelling.

Recycle 

Recycling is an important initiative that can help with reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfills. It is also a good way for you to positively impact the environment. Many salons think they are good at recycling, but a quick audit of what ends up in the black bin may reveal a different story.

Here are some ways you can start recycling your salon’s waste:

- Provide recycling bins in areas where employees are most likely to throw away items.

- Make it easy to see what items can be recycled and where they need to be placed. 

- Encourage your customers to recycle their hair product containers and bottles at your salon.

- Find out about specialist recycling schemes offered by your suppliers.

- If something cannot be recycled, consider finding alternative solutions for your salon.

Audit your electricity use

Do you really know how much electricity you are using? Or do you just pay the bill every month? An electricity audit will help to reveal areas where you could save money and reduce your energy usage. Turning off appliances when you aren’t using them and switching to energy-saving appliances can help.

If you are in charge of managing the electricity in your salon, it is important to know where you are using the most electricity. To audit your electricity use, request a smart meter from your provider. This will show you exactly how much electricity you are using at a given moment. 

Some common electricity drains in salons include the kettle, inefficient heating and lighting. Make sure everything in your salon is as efficient as possible and switched off when not in use.

Choose ethical suppliers

Switching to more ethical suppliers is a simple way to reduce your carbon footprint and make your salon more eco-friendly. You can also choose local suppliers to reduce the amount of travel required to get products into your salon.

Ethical suppliers can be a great option for your salon. They place importance on sustainable products and materials that are not harmful to the environment. This way, you don't need to worry about the impact that your products will have on the planet.

You might also discover that these manufacturers offer lower prices than other suppliers, which benefits you as a salon owner. You'll save money and you'll be doing your part in protecting the planet at the same time.

Ditch the coffee pods

If you’re still serving coffee from single-use pods, it’s time to look for an alternative way to keep your customers happy and hydrated. Single-use pods cannot easily be recycled, so many of them are heading straight to landfill. You could switch to filter coffee or upgrade to an espresso machine to help eliminate single-use plastics from your beverages. You could also choose a bean to cup coffee machines that make delicious coffee at the touch of a button.

Remember that you are in charge of what you serve in your salon. If you want to make a move away from serving coffee, this is likely to be a welcome change for your customers. Consider serving locally-sourced herbal tea to create a calming atmosphere in your salon.

How to advertise your green credentials

If you want to use your newfound green credentials to generate some buzz, you’re going to need to let your customers know about the changes you have made.

  • Make sure you update your website and social media to announce the changes in your salon. You could create an eco-friendly section of your site to let customers know more about the steps you are taking to save the environment.
  • Send an email update. If there will be changes to the way you run your salon, you need to update your customers by email. Let them know about changes to appointment books, products you’ll be using, and any changes to your loyalty scheme.
  • Consider a relaunch. A relaunch after you have implemented any green changes will enable you to spread the word about your new policies and hopefully generate a lot of buzz on social media and in the local press.
  • Let green publications and blogs know about your new products. Those who regularly purchase refills instead of single-use plastics are always on the search for new suppliers. Let local publications and blogs know that you’ll be offering eco-friendly products or refills.
  • Share the news on social media. Since going paperless is one of the objectives of your plan, you can’t print flyers or posters to advertise the changes. Sharing the news on social media is the next best thing. You could even update your branding in green hues to reflect your change of priorities.

Things to avoid when going green

Customers who are looking for eco-friendly suppliers know what they are talking about. They are already clued up on the lingo, so trying to greenwash minor changes will only result in anger directed at your salon. Never lie or stretch the truth, and be prepared to defend your choices when asked. Social media interactions can quickly get out of control, so be wary about getting into arguments online.

It’s not uncommon for businesses to get it wrong. If you choose to partner with a supplier that turns out to be less green than advertised, be prepared to distance yourself, explain what has happened and move on. As long as you aren’t intentionally misleading people, you can be confident this won’t reflect poorly on you.

Knowing when to admit you were wrong is an essential part of learning. Bear in mind that there is no perfect solution to everything, but doing something is better than doing nothing. While you might have some temporary backlash for making changes, this will be short-lived as the world catches up. Eventually, it will be common knowledge that we need to treat the environment with more care.

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