What has Virtue Saved in 2013…
As a commitment to our community, we approach small business with sustainable solutions. From drying our hands to passing out business cards, our salon strives to creatively reduce waste.
We thought it would be interesting to calculate just how much waste we saved from harming our planet in 2013.
Most businesses use paper towels to clean and dry hands, creating a massive amount of waste on a daily basis. Virtue Salon does not use any paper towels. We save old towels for cleaning, and use hand towels in our restroom, which are all able to be washed and reused. If Virtue Salon used 6 rolls of paper towels per week for 1 year that would add up to 312 rolls of pure waste. This is a practical and simple solution for any business to achieve.
Number of Paper Towels purchased or used = 0
Number of Paper Towels saved from the landfill = 312 rolls, or
152.88 lb. of waste
In 2013 Virtue did not use a single drop of detergent. Instead, we use the SmartKlean Laundry Ball. If we did 6 loads of laundry with a ½ cup of detergent, every day, for 300 working days, we would have used 56.25 gallons of detergent. By using the SmartKlean Laundry Ball, we saved 900 cups of detergent from entering our water systems.
Amount of Laundry Detergent used = 0
Amount of Laundry Detergent saved from our water systems = 56.25 gallons
Business Cards & Postcards
Virtue Salon only uses repurposed cereal boxes, beer cases and other cardboard sources for the creation of business cards and postcards. In 2013, we created about 6,000 business cards and 1,000 postcards from cardboard boxes. This creates a dual solution; we repurpose what is otherwise trash, and we avoid production of more waste. Our clients, friends and family save and donate boxes from which we cut our cards. The Team at Virtue then cuts and stamps all of the materials. We find that this not only is a sustainable solution, but it also raises awareness about the need to reduce waste.
Number of boxes saved from the landfill = 1,000+
Number of Postcards Printed = 0
Number of Postcards saved from the Printer = 1,000
Number of Business Cards printed = 0
Number of Business Cards saved from the Printer = 6,000
Historically, Virtue Salon used only Compact Fluorescent Bulbs, which use less energy than standard incandescent bulbs. Now, we are converting all 145 light bulbs to LED Bulbs, which use even less energy. According to Energy Star, LEDs use 75% less energy than a typical incandescent bulb. Also, LED bulbs do not contain mercury and last 25 times longer than an incandescent light bulb. Although the initial investment is a commitment, the pay-off is undeniable both financially and environmentally.
Number of Incandescent Bulbs used = 0
Energy Saved = 26,100 kWh*, enough to power 74 modern-day refrigerators for an entire year.
*Want the math? Assuming that Virtue was open 12 hours a day for 300 days of 2013, and all lights were on at the same time, that would amount to 3600 hours of operation time. One LED uses .01 kWh and one incandescent uses .06 kWh.
3600 x .01 = 36 (operating hrs x kWh for an LED)
36 x 145 = 5220 (kWh used for one year for one bulb x 145 bulbs at Virtue Salon)
3600 x .06 =216 (operating hrs x kWh for an incandescent)
216 x 145 = 31,320 (kWh used for one year for one bulb x 145 bulbs at Virtue Salon)
31,320 – 5220 = 26,100 (kWh of savings for one year 145 light bulbs)
Virtue Salon does not sue harsh cleaning products. Glass and surfaces are cleaned with all-purpose vinegar cleaner made at Virtue Salon. A solution of half water and half distilled white vinegar, basically, we use a solution that wouldn’t need poison control to be called if it were ingested.
Number of bottles of Windex or harsh cleaners purchased/used = 0
Bottles of cleaners saved from the landfill and not entering the air at Virtue Salon = 24 (based on 2- 32oz bottles per month)
Carbon Footprint of Shipping
Virtue Salon only orders and supports products that are made and sold within the USA. This helps to cut down on the amount of travel our products have to do, which cuts back on our fuel consumption. In 2013, we realized that we were ordering products far too often even though they were coming from Ohio distributors. We cut back our ordering from 4-5 times a month to 1 or less. This cut back our consumption by 75% in 2013. We went from 52 orders a year to 12-14, which cut back 38-40 deliveries. This also saves on packaging and boxes.
Goals for 2014
Virtue Salon already has a garden behind the salon, which puts out a considerable amount of organic produce each growing season. In 2014, we are expanding and using more of our urban scape for a green space. In the spring, less concrete and gravel will be seen and more plants and green will be producing. Possibly an outside haircutting area will be available…
We are beginning our first compost journey with the help of Compost Columbus. We will be composting all hair clippings, coffee grounds, teabags and food scraps (among a few other odds and ends). Compost Columbus will be picking up our compost and taking it to a larger operation just outside of town. This gets us one step closer to someday being a “zero-waste” establishment!
Recycling foils used for hair color can be a challenge. In the past we have tried to recycle them, but we felt as though the water used to clean the foils was then consuming more water than we expected and defeating our cause. In 2014 we have a few ideas and are planning to execute a strategy to take care of our used foils. Stay tuned!
Post by Melanie!