It's a Green New World

The price of beauty is higher than you think: Spas and salons use huge amounts of energy via water and electricity and generate a great deal of waste, especially waste that is potentially harmful to the environment in the form of leftover hair dyes and other products with high concentrations of chemicals. But that doesn’t mean you have to feel guilty every time you head to one or change your beauty treatment routine entirely. Instead, look for locations with an eco-conscience.

The environmental impact of spas and salons is considerable: heat, lighting, water, equipment and the vast array of products used, many of which are potential environmental catastrophes when washed down the drain. General waste is also an eco-issue—think leftover colour, leftover facial treatment products, foils, towels and endless packaging. Plus, there’s an environmental burden associated with the disposal of hair!

There was a time, not too long ago, when no one thought very much about these issues. But that all changed in 2009 when Green Circle Salons (greencirclesalons.ca) was born. According to Shane Price, founder and CEO of Green Circle Salons, the green-minded company has introduced a straightforward and very effective way to introduce equally green-minded consumers to a vast network of green spas and salons across North America. They do this with a unique accreditation program that is twofold: It encourages spas and salons to clean up their act with sustainable practices, ranging from lighting and heating solutions to waste disposal solutions, and it provides incentives and means to make those changes through the Green Change Purse program. This program helps salons raise funds by giving back a portion of the fees they pay to Green Circle Salons to be used for green initiatives.  “We believe that these changes need to happen sooner rather than later and should have been happening years ago,” says Price, “so our plan is to help salons and spas reinvest to create that change.”