It’s an understatement that now more than ever, consumers are more conscious of the environment.
Making improvements in your spa to include eco-friendly products and processes will inevitably strengthen your reputation. As the focus on the environment increases, so are the opportunities we can take hold of to help our planet, not to mention gaining and maintaining client loyalty.
Rising trends in vegan products and all-natural products make selling those items a no-brainer.
These initiatives are what matters most to consumers:
Natural skin maintenance with ingredients that are edible.
Minimalistic packaging that produces less waste to protect our environment
The use of greener, renewable energy in manufacturing eco-products.
Minimizing water use.
Avoiding plastics and synthetic preservatives.
Using more sustainable amenities that can be composted and that don’t produce ‘micro-plastics’.
1 All-Natural Spa Products
For massage, facials, and body treatments.
Products and buzz words in an eco-friendly spa include: Completely Vegan, No Chemicals, Parabens, Drugs or Cancer-Causing Agents, never tested on Animals, Certified Organic and Wild-Crafted ingredients such as Blueberry, Bilberry, Cat’s Claw.
Sometimes natural is hard to get your head around as different countries and different suppliers have different versions of what “natural” means. Take time to educate yourself about what you’re putting on the shelves. Your dollars make a difference when they support truly natural products.
It’s amazing how many local suppliers now make, high quality products that support your eco friendly goals but also support the local economy with a “SHOP LOCAL” message.
2 Water Conservation
The word “spa” originated as an acronym for the Latin; salus per agua, meaning “health by water”. Therefore, a spa isn’t a spa without water. However, it is both realistic and practical to conserve water at a Spa.
Selecting sensor-controlled faucets can reduce water consumption by as much as 30%. The water is turned on only when needed and shuts off as soon as the user walks away. Considering that the standard faucet uses about 2.2 gallons of water per minute, cutting even seconds’ worth of running time use can result in significant savings.
Here are some other ideas for gradual implementation:
Using water-efficient appliances, such as washing machines for full loads only.
Installing low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators wherever possible. Recent models have been met with much greater user satisfaction. It doesn’t have to mean having a shower where you have to run around to get wet.
Fixing plumbing leaks as soon as they are detected. This is one of the many instances in which procrastination costs you—and Mother Nature—by the second.
Switching to dual-flush toilets. These systems release a relatively small amount of water to flush away liquid waste and can therefore conserve hundreds of gallons per day.
Remember that the COST of water can be reduced to benefit the planet and your pocketbook.
Grey water from sinks may look dirty, but in many cases, it is a safe and even beneficial source of plant irrigation. Some super sustainable spas have constructed wetlands to collect rainwater for use in treatments rooms and showers. Water is filtered naturally by beds of gravel that are filled with plants that cleanse it of contaminants.
Reusing reclaimed water (Also Known As ‘grey’ water) from sinks is great for watering your plants and lawn and is one of the easiest ways to recycle your hot tub water and reward your garden.
If you want to use hot tub water for your garden or plants, it is a fairly simple process to prepare before hand; just test Chlorine, pH, bromine, and salt levels in the spa water.
Chlorine levels can evaporate overnight in smaller containers, or in about 2 days without the tub being treated or used.
pH should be in the neutral zone of 7.2 – 7.4.
Bromine does not appear to be harmful to plants but should also be tested.
Spa water that uses salt systems should not be put on plants. Even low levels of salt can cause damage.
Remember to advertise your water-conserving measures on your social media channels, website, and marketing materials! This is an attraction to many people these days.
3 Reducing your Carbon Footprint
In addition to helping your company’s profitability, your actions can make a real difference. By implementing changes, you will have a smaller carbon footprint and reduce the number of toxins released into the atmosphere. Future generations, quite possible your kids, or kid’s kids, ultimately benefit from improved air and water quality, fewer landfills, and more renewable energy sources.
Automatically controlled thermostat.
Use lighting controls, such as occupancy sensors, photocells, or time clocks. Simply changes to your bathrooms, storage rooms, staff rooms that often have lights left on all day, and sometimes nights.
Change the default on your copy/printer to make double-sided printing and copying a standard practice.
Use the backs of printed sheets you would normally discard for printing drafts or for notepads.
Don’t automatically print out receipts. Offer email or text receipts directly from your software. It reduces the paper you buy and the process of your guests going home and throwing them in the garbage.
Instead of printing out your “day at the spa” program, packages or simply appointment confirmations for guests, send it to them digitally in advance.
Send the appointment schedule to your team members, rather than handing them a piece of paper.
Discarding hair trimmings into the trash and sending them away with the weekly garbage collection has always been industry standard practice but did you know that it is recyclable?
Hair has superior absorbency, and its’ durability make for a highly effective, reusable, and sustainable commodity. For this reason, it is used in Hair Booms which are nylon hosiery covered in mesh made for soaking up oil spills in oceans and waterways. Recycled hair can also be made into hair mats.
4 Minimalistic packaging
Minimal packaging is the future. Reduce waste by using reusable and compostable material in your packaging. Experiment with the amounts of packaging you use and strive for the absolute least amount necessary for the product you are selling. Lastly, consider the types of packaging that are reusable and/or compostable such as: glass, metal, wood, bamboo, cotton, linen, jute and compostable plastic-like corn and potato starch bags.
Remember to promote your sustainability progress internally and externally.
Did you Know? Hazardous waste in your Spa can include
Disinfectants used to clean tools
Some soaps and shampoos
Sustainability improvements are a collaborative effort. When employees work together to identify and implement green and sustainable initiatives, it fosters a culture of teamwork and continuous improvement. Employees work harder when they are engaged and have a sense of loyalty and pride in their company; giving Spa owners that much more reason to adopt more eco-friendly options.
Push back against your suppliers who use excessive packaging to make the product look cool or exclusive. You know who they are. You and your staff all say it in the staff room. Send them a message to reduce it. It is both the waste of it all and can reduce the cost of the products. They will only make this move when they hear you telling them to stop!
Another Green initiative includes Spa and Salon uniforms made from natural organic fibres and up-cycled fabrics.
The end goal has many layers to it but really boils down to 2 things.
Save our planet
Have a profitable business.
Taking steps to be obvious and intentional around your sustainability will help realize both worthwhile and important goals.