As an earth-conscious business, We are always striving to stay on the cutting edge of being as environmentally friendly as possible. From the products we use all the way down to the hair we cut, every aspect of our business is meticulously evaluated. Our goal as a team is to become a zero waste salon and each day we grow closer to our goal.
However, our commitment to earth-consciousness is not just about being "eco-friendly", it’s about being aware of what we're using and wasting. This is a responsibility we all have as humans to take care of the earth. Our desire to be good stewards of the earth is what drives our passion for veganism. Not because it's eco-friendly or we want to brand ourselves a certain way but because we want to be good stewards of our business and the greater impact it has on the planet.
What does this look like for a business?
A positive impact on the environment starts with a greater awareness. When we throw things away, they don’t just disappear at the curb. Yes, it's out of our minds but it’s not gone. Everything has a trail, and many times that trail ends in a landfill. Our landfills are having a hard time keeping up with the amount of waste today. Being earth-conscious can actually save money, time, and space too! Here are just some of the practices we have adopted from an earth-conscious mindset:
Just from our location alone, we divert a 35 gallon container of hair clippings and food compost bi-weekly from going to a landfill.
We have paired down our physical paper documents to just a couple drawers in one filing cabinet. One piece of paper doesn’t seem like it would have that great of an impact on the environment, but the gas it takes to deliver the paper, ink, etc. to the store, then to go get it, and the environmental impact involved in making ink and a printer, all add up. When we starting looking at the trail we can see the greater impact of the smaller decisions in life. Use less, waste less.
We give a 2nd or 7th life to the majority of the furniture in the salon. We see high value in fixing and restoring amazing vintage furniture to be used again in our salon instead of buying new pieces out of a catalog that will probably end up in the trash before our vintage pieces.
In the last year, we switched to a tea company that uses 100% biodegradable tea bags so we can compost them. Many tea sachets are make of silk (derived from the silk worm), or have staples in them. The Tea Spot makes their sachets out of a woven corn material, making them commercially biodegradable and bio-renewable.
We covered our floors in anti-fatigue flooring for the health of our hairdressers and chose 100% recycled tire flooring instead of manufactured bamboo or having brand new rubber mats manufactured.
Of course we recycle, and use LED bulbs. They save money, time, and energy at no additional cost. LED bulbs use a fraction of the amount of energy and last 25,000 hours longer than normal bulbs. And it is just archaic for a business not to recycle today.
Unfortunately though, when it comes to recycling, it is no longer what it used to be. Over the past few years, major buyers overseas have tightened up on what kind of recycling they buy. As a result, prices have plummeted for raw recycling. This has resulted in diversion to land fills, and incinerators. So, this means that just because we throw it in the recycling bin doesn't mean that it won't end up in a land fill. Recycling hasn't completely vanished, but the need is for cleaner recyclables; no more "aspirational recycling"-- attempting to recycle trash. We need to be conscious even in what we're recycling. (The Atlantic)
It is our belief and understanding that one of the greatest ways we can make a positive impact individually for the planet is switching to a plant based diet. Studies show that the greatest cause of greenhouse gases and climate change is actually attributed to raising livestock and clearing land to grow more food to feed the livestock. People always think that it's caused by cars and vehicle emissions but the percentage from raising livestock has actually sky rocketed.
"Forget carbon-belching buses or power plants. Animal food production now surpasses both the transportation industry and electricity generation as the greatest source of greenhouse gases. Amazingly, if Americans could just cut back on animal foods by half, the effect on greenhouse gas emissions would be like garaging all U.S. motor vehicles and vessels for as long as we keep our consumption down." (www.forksoverknives.com)
"It takes dozens of times more water and five times more land to produce animal protein than equal amounts of plant protein. Unfortunately, even “green” alternatives like raising animals locally, organically, or on pastures can’t overcome the basic math: the resources just don’t exist to keep feeding the world animal foods at the level it wants." (www.forksoverknives.com)
Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
Agriculture is responsible for 80-90% of US water consumption.
Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US.
2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef.
A person who follows a vegan diet produces the equivalent of 50% less carbon dioxide, uses 1/11th oil, 1/13th water, and 1/18th land compared to a meat-lover for their food.
Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life. (Cowspiracy: The Facts)
The biggest way to make an impact starting today is by reducing your meat consumption or even switching to a vegetarian or vegan, plant-based diet. The facts don’t lie when it comes to a plant-based diet and it’s impact on water consumption, energy, CO2, land, oil, etc. It’s easy to make some other small tweaks at home such as switching to LED lightbulbs, recycling, and even composting. We use Innovative Organics Recycling that offers curbside composting as well.
Starting small by implementing incremental daily changes will grow you your mind and your character as a person into thinking differently about your stewardship of this earth. Every small bit makes a difference. It all goes back to a mindset of what we're purchasing, why we're purchasing it, and the end result of that purchase. By being more conscious about what we're consuming and consequently what we're wasting we can make a difference.
Written by TJ