Editor's Letter: Green is the New Black

We’ve been celebrating Earth Day and the birth of the modern environmental movement since April 22, 1970. Back then we were driving American-made behemoths with V8 engines. Sure, they were beautiful, but they also guzzled gas and spewed out smoke that polluted the very air we breathe. It’s also safe to say that the only people practicing yoga, meditating or eating a vegetarian diet were hippies. Today, it’s common to find vegetarian items on menus at any number of restaurants, nearly 18 million adults in the U.S. practice meditation, and yoga studios are almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks—okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but you get my drift. In the past 46 years, you might say we’ve become enlightened when it comes to environmental issues, but there’s still much to do. Global warming is a serious threat to our planet, and activists continue to push for clean energy. The beauty industry began cleaning up its act by investing in a range of sustainability initiatives—using greener formulations, introducing environmentally friendly packaging, using fair trade ingredients when possible and reducing water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Salon owners are stocking organic products on their shelves, recycling, choosing eco-friendly flooring like cork or bamboo and eliminating paper products where possible. In this issue, we’ve devoted a lot of real estate to the issue of sustainability and what it means. Environmental sustainability—maintaining rates of renewable resources, pollution creation and non-renewable resource depletion—is one thing. But there’s also the issue of personal sustainability, which is the ability to continue a defined behavior indefinitely. If you envision a career that spans decades, you’ll need to adopt habits that promote good health, help you avoid repetitive stress injuries and relieve tension and stress. Turn to page 187 where we explore ways to save the planet by becoming a greener salon and also offer tips for living a happier, healthier, more productive life. “I have chosen to be happy because it’s good for my health,” said French philosopher and writer Voltaire. I agree with him. That’s why I try to start each day in gratitude. If you ask me, it’s the shortest route to happiness and a life well lived.


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