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January 31 2023 Studio 16

What Does it Mean to be a "Sustainable Salon"?

A Special Intro from Andi...

Those of you who've been part of the Studio 16 experience for a while know that we have ALWAYS been looking find ways to reduce the footprint we have on the planet in an industry that always has the potential to do a lot of harm. As you may know, one of the biggest reasons we committed to being an AVEDA salon was exactly for this reason - they are constantly innovating in regards to eliminating animal testing, using vegan ingredients, recycling packaging and reducing the resources needed to create it, and more. It's a problem for the whole industry (and every other industry too of course!), which means we can always do MORE. 
As we announced last Fall, Studio 16 has enrolled in "Green Circle Salons", which takes us another HUGE leap forward in regards to minimizing our impact by allowing us to sensible recycle or dispose of almost everything else we use here too - even your hair! 

I'm very proud of the way this Salon as been able to participate in efforts like this and am grateful for the way it has been embraced by you, our customer and the team here.  Please read on for our first blog of the year with some specifics about Green Circle Salons. We are just the second salon in ALL of Eastern Washington to join as this is something I did not want to sit back and wait to see how it worked for everyone else first. To reach our goals the risk of trying new things should be accepted as less riskier than sitting back and waiting and contributing to the problem when we could be part of the solution NOW.

Thank you again for being part of something bigger than all of use - we know you have choices and we love that you choose Studio 16!

     - Andi

How Big is the Salon Industry Problem?

According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, the beauty industry produces 120 billion units of packaging each year, but the majority of it isn’t recyclable. Vogue estimates that 20% - 40% of products used in a salon end up as waste in a landfill. 

Sustainability and “going green” may be big buzzwords right now, but the salon industry is taking steps to put action behind those words. With the help of Green Circle Salons, salons like Studio 16 are finding ways to reduce waste and repurpose materials that would normally end up in landfills.

Who Is Green Circle Salons?

Green Circle Salons is an organization that helps salons in their goal of being more sustainable. By partnering with other industries, Green Circle Salons can recover up to 95% of waste created in the beauty industry. This includes hard-to-recycle items like hair clippings, foils, and excess hair color. 

Green Circle Salons’ mission is simple: they want to help salons and spas be environmentally responsible while still building revenue and gaining clients. When you’re a member of the Green Circle Salons consortium, the benefits of going green will far outweigh the effort put into the endeavor because Green Circle Salons makes it practically effortless. You simply send your waste to the experts and they make sure it is either turned into green energy or new products.

What Waste Can Be Saved?

It’s amazing what items that would normally clog a landfill can be used for other products or to create green energy. Below are just a few things that salons can have recycled:

1. Hair Clippings

​This is probably not the first thing you thought of when you thought of waste you can recycle. But hair clippings are quite versatile when it comes to repurposing. They can:
  • Be composted
  • Be turned into bio-composite plastic
  • Be used for research to develop new environmental technology
  • Be made into products for humanitarian efforts
They are even used to fill those "booms" you see boats laying out to contain and clean up an oil spill because human hair is actually incredibly absorbent for this application!
2. Excess Hair Color

230131-what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-sustainable-salon-1Leftover hair color doesn’t go down the drain. Instead, it can be consolidated and turned into clean energy. It can also be separated into water and oil. The water can be cleaned and returned to the water system and the oil can be blended into fuel.
3. Metals

Items like foils, aerosol cans, and color tubes can also be recycled. When these items are sent to the recycling facility, they will be separated by metal type and grade, melted down into aluminum sheets or bars, and used to make new metal products like car parts. 

4. Single-Use Items

230131-what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-sustainable-salon-2Salons are filled with items that are used once and then tossed. These items are things like nail files, waxing strips, and cotton swabs. When recycled, these single-use items can be used in a waste-to-energy process that creates clean energy. Any leftover materials can also be used as a filler in asphalt. 
5. Paper and Cardboard

​Packaging accounts for a large portion of the waste a salon produces. So much of this packaging is composed of paper and cardboard, which is one of the go-to items you think of when you think of recycling materials. Paper and cardboard can be sent to a facility where they will be sorted by grade, turned into paper pulp, and used to make new paper and cardboard products.

There’s a lot of waste in our industry, but it doesn’t have to have a lasting impact on our earth. At Studio 16 Salon and Spa, we have committed to taking care of both your beauty and the earth’s beauty by becoming a Green Circle Salons certified salon by helping recycle, recover, and repurpose a large percentage of our daily waste.

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