I’m sure you’ve thought to yourself, aren’t eco-conscious practices, products and tools more expensive and labor intensive? And, sure, yes sometimes some products or swap-outs can be pricey and a lot of work, but a lot of times it might just be the initial investment and then you go on to actually SAVE money + time. I mean, who doesn’t like saving money, especially if you’re a small business owner. We need every penny we’ve got, am I right?! Below you’ll find a short list of a few of my favorite swap-outs for an eco-conscious and budget friendly salon!
- Use cotton washcloths instead of paper towels in the bathroom. You can purchase +/- 50 cotton washcloths for around $30 for a year + supply instead of having to purchase single use paper towels for around $40 for a 2-month supply. We have a washer and dryer on site, so we are able to wash the washcloths in hot water with eco-friendly laundry soap to disinfect them and reuse without having to replace for a year or more. That’s savings of +/- $200!
- Install a smart thermostat. We learned this the hard way, and by the hard way I mean we left the AC on for a whole weekend and really paid the price. Literally. We love our ecobee thermostat for so many reasons, the company is all about improving our lives while creating a more sustainable world. It’s so convenient that we are able to control the thermostat from our smart phone, so if any of our stylists ever forget to turn it off before leaving the salon, I’m not running down there in my pj’s to manually turn it off. The smart thermostat has a free upgraded feature that supercharges your energy savings by auto adjusting the thermostats schedule based on your preferred level of savings, your usage and real time energy demand in your community. Ecobee smart thermostats run between $169-$249, and can save you big on your energy bill, helping lower the cost of your salon’s utilities.
- Use a water dispenser and refillable water jugs instead of serving your guest bottled water. The initial cost of the water dispenser we purchased was about $150 and we spend on average $3-$6 on water a week. Not serving your guests bottled water is probably the #1 thing to quit doing, if you are doing it, in order to help the environment + your pocket. Did you know that 38 million plastic water bottles go into the landfill each year and take about 700 years to dissolve making plastic the number 1 threat to our marine ecosystem? Terrifying right?! If you break down the cost of two cases of Costco water bottles per week per year vs. two 5-gallon jugs of water per week per year, you’re looking at savings of about $104, and what you’re doing for the planet is priceless.
- Send email receipts for services or products. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always hated paper receipts, they just pile up and I end up throwing them in the garbage, which I’ve learned is a HUGE no-no. In the united states alone, we use over 250 million gallons of oil, 10 million trees, 1 billion gallons of water and produce about 1.5 billion pounds of waste in the creation of receipts. Like, WTF, right?! We can literally eliminate all of that by just emailing your guests their receipts. Everyone has an email. Just do it. A case of receipt paper can cost you anywhere from $15-$20, which depending on how many services or products your selling, could really add up. You have the ability to completely eliminate this cost and seriously help the planet!
This is all just a start, a few things that you can implement in your salon as soon as tomorrow, with little investment. If you are looking for financial help in getting your salon to be a more eco-conscious space, and live in California, look into your county’s green business programs. Our county is currently hosting a “sustainable business challenge” and are reimbursing participating company’s purchases, up to a certain dollar amount, that were made to meet the criteria of the challenge. Check out greenbusinessca.org for more information on getting your salon certified green!
I promise you, starting to make little changes like these can have a huge impact on your pocketbook and the health of our planet, because truly “small acts, when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world.”