18 easy ways to make your spa more eco friendly
After listening to The Waxing Podcast, I am inspired to green up my spa. It inspired me to go online and look at what eco-friendly salons were doing to be environmentally friendly.
I was always aware of the amount of waste that I created and tried to offset that by recycling, reducing, reusing and composting as much as possible at the spa and home.
I thought I was doing ok with being an environmentally friendly spa. Still, after listening to the podcast and reading a couple of articles, I did a quick audit of what I could do to become more sustainable.
What I did to get turn my spa more eco friendly:
Some of these switches I made a long time ago, but some were new to me. These 18 easy ways to make your spa more eco-friendly are easy to implement.
*If you click on some of the pictures you will be taken to shopping links. This will make it a bit easier to find the items you might be interested in and give more detail about certain products.
•Goodby wax paper and sheets
Years ago, I cut out wax table paper by switching to sheets. I used a clean sheet for every client. Sheets felt a lot nicer than paper, and clients appreciated it. It was easy just to toss them in the laundry and clean the table in between each client.
A few years ago, I put a wax pad on the table to cover the cracked vinyl. My table was so worn because of all the cleaning, and it was cracking. I used sheets on top of the wax pad for client comfort.
I was doing at least five loads of sheets and towels a week. After cutting out sheets, and just sticking to the reusable wax pad, I now do just 1 load of laundry a week!
The detergent switch was an easy one. I found an eco-friendly one on amazon, and it works great.
I switched my cleaners with eco-friendly ones.
I got rid of paper towels and cheap Swiffer dusters and bought reusable, washable cloths and dusters.
The only thing I didn’t switch was my sanitation, disinfection and sterilization products.
•Single-use paper products
I switched all my toilet paper and facial tissue to eco-friendly brands.
•Client hand towels
Paper hand towels are easy to get rid of. Simply put a basket filled with facecloths in the bathroom or next to sinks and a small basket beside it. A small sign might be helpful to explain to clients to dispose of towels into the laundry basket after one use.
•Using plastic table and cart mats
I used to put a paper towel down on the table with the supplies I needed and tossed it after each client. I put out a plastic table mat and just clean it with disinfectant between each client.
I used to make multiple trips throughout the year to pick up cleaning supplies at the grocery store.
I’ve tracked and figured out how much of each product I used over a month. I did this by marking the bottles’ liquid level and calculating how much I would use in a year. I also kept track of the amount of cleaning wipes and kleenex.
Now I buy a year’s supply of my laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, garbage bags, kleenex etc., at one time at the grocery store.
•Bulk supply orders
After 12 years of waxing, I have figured out what I need for a month of waxing. I used to order the product every couple of months, but now I try to order six months of stock at a time, so there is only one delivery. Bonus: I get better bulk discounts and only pay one shipping fee!
I used to buy a few month’s worths of gloves and masks at a time. I had figured out on average how many clients a month I was using, and I ordered a 12 month supply. Sadly Covid-19 threw a wrench in tho that plan, and I now I order what is available.
I have always had my wax pots and lights on timers, but I was sloppy at the timing. I had it set from 6 am to 9 pm. I looked closer at my schedule and changed the settings from 8 am to 5 pm.
This is something I have to do more research on. I’ve heard of salons and spas switching to washable cotton rounds, q-tips, mascara wands and even waxing sticks.
I primarily use hard wax, so reusable sticks are challenging to work with and clean properly. I have tried some silicone ones, but they just don’t work that well and are difficult to clean.
I use spatulas when I’m using soft waxes. These can be cleaned and disinfected easily. You just have to make a bit of investment at first.
A lot of clients donèt even want receipts anymore so before you print one, ask if they do want one. If your Point of sale system offers email receipts, ask if they would like that instead.
This is one of the most challenging obstacles. I have used the same wax line for years. I have tried dozens of hard waxes and soft waxes throughout the years but have not found anything comparable. After testing waxes, I have discovered the better quality the wax, the less I use on each service. It comes at a bit of a higher price.
I’ve watched dozens of videos and learned how to change my technique to reduce the amount of wax, strips and sticks that I need.
I could switch to sugaring or a more eco-friendly wax but it would require a massive change to my business. (If you are a sugaring technician, please don’t ask me to switch. I’m not going to debate this.)
I switched some of my pre and post-service cleansers, wipes etc. to an eco-friendly site that offers bulk packaging and refilling.
I am currently looking at a program called Green spas which recycles all kinds of spa waste, including wax waste.
•Retail product switch
I am slowly switching out my retail products like facial masks, lotions, lip balms, post-wax treatments etc. I found a local company that uses all recyclable and refillable containers.
•Online consultation forms
Many online booking systems offer the ability to add consultation forms online. This is a great way to reduce paper and store files. If you need to keep your paper forms, consider printing on both sides, and using recycled paper.
•Lights, windows etc.
I had already switched to all LED lights.
My room was cool, so I made sure I installed these little plugin insulators, and I bought a wall heater.
I can’t change my windows, but this winter, I added plastic to them. Most clients didn’t even notice, but I saw the lack of draft and my heating bill was lower.
•Switch to Ebills
My bank sent me a notification that they were going to start charging for mailed statements. When I looked at some of the other utility bills, I realized I was paying a fee to have a paper copy mailed every month. When I switched over to Ebills, I saved paper and money!
•Specialty recycling program
I’ve just stumbled on the Green Circle Salons program. It’s a recycling company that recycles almost anything in your salon or spa, including PPE!
After switching just a few things, I noticed a decrease in my utility bills and energy/time spent doing laundry.
Most of these earth-friendly ideas are minor changes that were easy for me to make.
*You should make sure you have a copy of your cities health and safety codes to make sure you are practicing up-to-date cleaning standards.
If you have any ideas for transforming your spa or salon with eco-friendly ideas, please let me know!
You might be interested in these blog posts:
Cutting costs for home-based salons and spas