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Greening Your Spa

Going green can be as simple as conserving water and energy, or more challenging like improving efficiencies in the manufacturing process. It’s possible to protect the environment while simultaneously reducing operating costs, increasing efficiencies, and reducing health and safety risks to your employees and your clients. We checked with both Eminence Organic Skin Care and the Government of Canada for their tips and suggestions.

Eminence Organic Skin Care has initiated a green spa policy and certificate program designed to reward those actively trying to reduce their environmental impact while inspiring others to do more. Recognized Eminence Organics Green Spas have delivered on at least 60% of the following “green” requirements:

  • Use power strips in treatment rooms and office areas and turn them off when equipment is not in use.
  • Use reusable or biodegradable options whenever possible with your food and beverage services instead of paper and plastic cups, plates, and flatware.
  • Establish an in-spa recycling awareness program. Place recycling bins next to trash cans with clearly marked signs indicating what constitutes acceptable waste.
  • Use natural, non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning supplies instead of chemical-based products.
  • Limit the linens provided to guests. Offer only what they may need with the option of additional linens upon request. This would include towels and robes.
  • Purchase all condiments and supplies (cream, sugar, paper goods, and hand soaps) in bulk. This is also a wise financial choice.
  • Buy organic and fair trade coffees and teas.
  • Adjust A/C by two degrees in the summer and turn your thermostat down two degrees in the winter to use less energy. This will also save you money on your hydro bills.
  • Use halogen, LED, CLF, or low-voltage track lighting in at least 50% of your sources.
  • Program all computer monitors to sleep mode after 15 minutes or more.
  • Use filtered water taps. This is a cheaper alternative to buying bottled water and limits waste.
  • Print all marketing materials on recycled paper with
  • eco-friendly inks.
  • Reuse paper for in-spa memos, notes, and scratch paper.
  • Designate time at staff meetings to discuss new and existing environmental efforts.
  • Provide staff members with information on how they can improve their green efforts at home as well as in the spa.

The Canadian Government also offers several tips; among them are the following:

Substituting materials

Using more environmentally friendly alternatives helps remove harmful substances and products from use and can save money by lowering hazardous waste disposal costs. Some examples include the use of natural instead of synthetic fibres like cotton robes and towels, plant-based products, and water-based rather than solvent-based products.

Using redesigned/reformulated products

Looking at the whole lifecycle of the products you sell or use can help you determine which ones offer the lowest environmental impact. Purchase products that come with less packaging; offer recycling; and include substances that are less harmful to the environment.

Changing equipment or processes

Making changes to your equipment or processes can improve efficiency and reduce water and energy costs, like offering waterless pedicures. Switch to more energy-efficient lighting and use high-efficiency devices such as those designated by ENERGY STAR or Safer Choice.

Changing operating practices and providing training Helping your employees know how to use equipment properly can help conserve energy and water, and reduce waste. Give them training on pollution prevention so they gain the knowledge and skills to implement green practices.

Jana Manolakos
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