How to Make Greener Choices Post-COVID

photos courtesy of Anna Peters (Anna Peters/Sam Villa ArTeam)

Written by Anna Peters, Sam Villa ArTeam Member and Owner of re:TREAT Color + Hair Design Studio

In the age of coronavirus, our entire world has shifted...but, it’s not all for the bad. Amidst the reduction in traffic on the ground and in the air, not to mention the decrease in our carbon footprint from our brick-and-mortar stores and salons, Mother Earth has reaped the benefits of cleaner air and far less pollution. So much so that it can be seen from outer space!  But, will it stay that way? That’s up to us. 

Changing our consumption and habits toward a greener future relies on the choices we make moving forward. As salon owners, we have a huge responsibility, and even a bigger opportunity as leaders in our industry, to make a difference with simple, affordable changes to help the planet. During this slower transitional time, I’ve been focusing on reopening my salon with some meaningful and impactful changes that will affect my community, industry and even the world in a very positive way! We can cover up our grays, but we will no longer cover up what we are putting into our landfills and water systems.

Enter: making greener choices. 

My salon, re:TREAT Color + Hair Design Studio, is bringing a shade of green to our local beauty industry with some innovative strategies to significantly reduce waste and harmful chemicals to the climate. While we have the reputation of giving a boost of confidence to our clients, re:TREAT is also establishing itself in bettering the environment. The initiatives are innovative, and I’m proud to say that our salon is one of out of approximately 70 salons in roughly a 24-square mile radius to bring these eco-friendly practices and products to the table. 

We have partnered with locally owned Green Beauty Waste, a company focused on limiting hazardous waste from chemicals found in hair products and dye. We’re training our stylists at the salon with proper dye removal tactics and installing technical solutions to the salon itself. Such as separate trash bins labeled for hazardous waste (hair color, foils, hair, color tubes and bottles), as well as recycling. Additionally, we installed new ECOHEADS shampoo nozzles.  They not only enhance the shampoo experience at the bowl with cleaner filtered water, they reduce frizz with tourmaline stones that put negative ions into the hair and cut down blow dry time.  They also offer double the pressure while conserving up to 65% of water and energy. We built the salon with energy savings in mind and installed all LED energy efficient lighting, and energy efficient appliances such as water heater, washer and dryer. Our next step is to look into better air filtrations systems and we can’t wait to incorporate cleaner air for clients and stylists!

These simple changes we’re initiating while we have a little “lull” in our business will undoubtedly make a long-term difference on the way we consume, operate our salon, and the way we treat our planet. In speaking with our clients about our changes, they’ve expressed excitement and a desire to get involved in furthering these efforts. 

So, in a season when many of us have been forced to take a pause, close our doors, and take a hard look at how we’re operating, both at home and at work, I challenge you to use this time to analyze what you can improve. Our role as stylists and salon owners is significant. How will you use this unprecedented crisis to become an improved salon that takes better care of the planet we all call home? 

I cannot wait to see what comes next.