By now you've probably seen some of my posts about becoming a Green Circle Salon...but what the heck is that?
For me, first came the why. As a business owner -- especially of a beauty-based business -- I believe in kindness first and foremost. And that kindness extends to our planet (as well as to ourselves, one another, and our animal friends).
The beauty industry generates 877 pounds of waste every single minute. For the past 13 years, no matter when I worked, I started a recycling program to try to keep as much plastic as possible out of our landfills. Now that I'm 100% responsible for what my salon creates (and generates), I absolutely knew I needed to do better.
Green Circle Salons (GCS) has created a well-organized (yet still easy) system for gathering up to 95%of the waste that comes from beautifying my guests. And because their recycling and reclaiming programs are carbon positive, they are able to offset the carbon footprint of my salon -- making Style Haus Salem (as a participating member) Certified Carbon Neutral. How great is that?!?
Here's a little bit about how this program works, what they collect, and where it all goes.
63,000 pounds of hair clippings are thrown away every day. GCS sorts the hair clippings, sends them to a partner facility, and is turned into bio-composite plastic to make new products like recycling bins or other products to be used for humanitarian efforts.
EXCESS HAIR COLOR
42,000 pounds of excess hair color, bleach, and toner is literally washed down the drain every day, where it can find its way to our drinking water and soil. CGS consolidates leftover hair color/chemicals, sends them to a partner facility, and separates the water and oil -- the water is cleaned and returned to the water system, and the oil is blended into fuel.
Over 110,000 pounds of used metals (that includes your foils, hair color tubes, and aerosol cans) goes to landfills every day -- that's over half the weight of a commercial airplane! When these metals are collected and sorted by grade and type, CGS' partner facilities melt them back down and repurposed into aluminum sheets (foils) or used to make new products like car parts and bicycles.
SINGLE USE ITEMS
Single Use Items (like gloves, processing caps, q-tips, protective capes) are a huge portion of beauty waste -- and because they're largely made of plastic, do not break down in landfills. When these items are collected and sorted, they're used in a waste-to-energy process to create renewable energy...and the leftover ash from this process is used as a filler in asphalt!
Over half of the items thrown away in hair salons are plastic. Here in Oregon, our curbside recycling programs will not take my plastic items because of the chemical residue on the inside of my developer and toner bottles -- even through best efforts they will still end up in landfills. Once CGS collects and sorts plastic items, cleans them, grinds them into small pieces, and then is used to make NEW beauty industry plastic like shampoo bottles.
As for paper and cardboard waste, we're lucky that Oregon's curbside recycling programs will accept our paper-product waste.
I love that I now have an option to ensure that the waste Style Haus Salem generates every day is kept out of landfills and our waterways -- and that I can now feel guilt-free while we work towards feeling your most gorgeously, authentic self.
With this new program SHS will be extending a very minor GSF (Green Stewardship Fee) to our guests as part of our partnership (yours and ours) towards a more kind and beautiful beauty appointment.
The next time you're in, feel free to ask me all about being a Green Circle Salon! I promise you'll remember, there's a brand new (and semi-elaborate) waste collection system inside the studio that's hard to miss and will jog your memory.