Celebrate the (Green) Circle of Life for World Environment Day
June 5 is observed as World Environment Day. The goal of this holiday is to get people, businesses, and law makers engaged in a global conversation about environmental issues. This year’s theme is centered on biodiversity.
World Environment Day 2020: Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the variety and interconnections of life on earth. There are 8 million known species on the planet: plants and animals, fungi and bacteria, all sharing the ecosystems of Earth’s land, ocean, and air. Biodiversity is important because the world is an intricate web of living things that depend on each other for survival. When an element of any of the Earth’s ecosystems is changed, compromised, or threatened, it creates a chain effect that impacts the whole system, for better or worse.
The Impact of the Beauty Industry on Biodiversity
The byproducts of the salon and spa industry pose a threat to the fragile ecologies that support biodiversity.
Did you know?
- The average tube of hair color contains over 5,000 chemicals, including many of “The Dirty Dozen”: ammonia, formaldehyde, sodium laureth sulfate, DEA, dioxane, etc.
- Sodium laureth sulfate and ammonia reduce the animal plankton population and cause death in fish and shellfish
- Dioxane and DEA kill plankton, nematodes, flatworms, insects, amphibians, crustaceans, and fish
- Formaldehyde, present in hair color and straightening treatments, is a known carcinogen and genetic disruptor in animals and humans
- 70% of all cosmetics, plastics, and packaging end up in landfills and waterways, where they threaten biodiversity, transmit disease-causing micro bacteria, and take hundreds of years to break down
How Green Circle Salons Build a Better Beauty Business
The Green Circle salon program provides sustainable solutions for salon and spa to recover, repurpose, and safely dispose of beauty waste. The Green Circle salon program helps participating businesses repurpose up to 95% of beauty waste, including hair, paper and plastics, leftover hair color, foils, color tubes, and aerosol cans.
Meet Sustainable Salon Willow & Wolfe
We don’t think that you need to risk your health or the environment to work in the beauty business. That’s why we made it our mission to operate an eco-conscious, clean beauty salon.”Willow & Wolfe Hair Co.
Shelby and Bronwyn, co-owners of Willow & Wolfe Hair Co., have made it their mission to operate a sustainable, ecofriendly beauty salon. As a certified Green Circle sustainable salon, Willow & Wolfe recycles everything from used foils and color tubes to hair clippings. Watch this clip to see how Willow & Wolfe is changing the industry they love and protect biodiversity!
A Better Beauty Industry Protects Biodiversity
By protecting the environment, you protect biodiversity—after all, we’ve got 8 million neighbors that we share the planet with! Here are three steps your salon or spa can take today to minimize your ecological impact and protect the environment and its biodiversity.
Responsible disposal. Before washing chemicals and unused color down the sink, contact your local water treatment plant for best practice recommendations. Ask your local waste disposal service if chemical beauty waste, like hair color, lighteners, or smoothing treatments, are considered HHW (household hazardous waste) and follow recommended disposal procedures accordingly.
Proactive recycling and repurposing of materials. Check EPA guidelines and contact your local waste disposal service for recommended recycling of common salon and spa product packaging, such as aerosol cans, used foils, and plastics. Where you can’t recycle, try to reuse beauty waste, like pump bottles for shampoo, soap, or lotions. You can even recycle hair clippings as mulch, gardening material, weed suppressant, deer/snail repellant, and to clear up oil spills!
Choose sustainably produced products with eco friendly packaging. Avoid using products that contain “The Dirty Dozen,” and instead choose products made with natural, sustainably sourced formulas. Seek out reputable brands with certifications that back up their eco conscious claims. Instead of using products with wasteful or non-recyclable packaging, choose products with minimal, reusable, or refillable packaging.
How Can My Beauty Business Help?
If you’re feeling inspired, here are some extra steps your salon or spa can take to preserve the environment and protect the world’s biodiversity—not just on World Environment Day, but every day!
- Become a Green Circle Salon
- Take The Business and Biodiversity Pledge
- Go paperless (might we suggest Vagaro?)
- Don’t waste water—wait until you have a full load to wash towels
- Save energy—try using LED lighting, timers, or motion sensor lights
- Power off nonessential electronics when you close for the night
Go green with Vagaro! Our software lets your business go paperless with digital booking, receipts, and marketing to reduce the paper used in everyday transactions. When small businesses like yours go paperless, it’s like taking 350,000 cars off the road, saving 950 gallons of water and 3 trees per employee every year!
All Images via Vagaro and Willow & Wolfe Hair Co.