How to reduce the size of your (salon) waste!

by | Mar 10, 2022 | Business, Sustainability

Creative HEAD’s Most Wanted Sustainability Heroes Anne Veck and Keith Mellen show us how to cut down on waste in your business in the latest episode of their free Salon Re:Source guide

Cutting out junk and cutting down on rubbish is one of the easiest ways to make your salon greener and cleaner. Anne Veck and Keith Mellen – Creative HEAD’s new contributing editors and Most Wanted 2021 Sustainability Hero award winners – are here to help guide you. As part of a a regular series with the duo to help you make your salon more sustainable, this month it’s all about rethinking your approach to what you chuck away, and finding (sometimes surprising) ways to reuse items you’d otherwise send to landfill.

Anne and Keith have also updated their Salon Re:Source, a free guide packed full of tried-and-tested tips for running a more sustainable salon. It’s right here to check out…


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MEASURE IT: Record how much colour you dispose of daily by collecting it in a bucket. Keep a tally and reduce the amount each week, with a view to working towards zero colour waste. There are various apps available to help.

BE SAFE, NOT SORRY: Sort your waste responsibly and as required by your local collection service. Hopefully they make it easy for you to recycle the relevant recyclables and food waste separately from the nasty stuff that has to go into landfill or incineration. Look at alternative collection services, including Green Salon Collective, Salon Sustainability and First Mile.

HAIR TODAY…: Put the hair you cut to good use. Give good-quality long hair to The Little Princess Trust, while the rest can go to make oil-collecting booms. Alternatively, your local wildlife trust or organic farm may be able to use it as mulch.

BIN IT: Check that your team is putting stuff in the correct bins. Dispose of colour waste (which may be hazardous, depending on which products you’re using) and other waste safely, and try not to dilute it with water or wash it down the sink. Unsuitable materials, such as pieces of plastic, contaminated salon towels, wax strips, wet tissues, cotton buds, PPE and any other small, sticky items should not be flushed down the loo into the drains and ultimately, into the sea. Instead, add them to your Green Salon Collective General Waste bin; by our calculations, this should save you money compared with local council general waste collections.

UPCYCLE: Re-use any furnishings that you no longer need; or donate them for a second life.

DROP THE PRICE LIST: You don’t need a printed price list. It’s much easier to change your prices if your list is digital-only. People can get a PDF version, read it on your website or app or you can Airdrop it to them.

AND PHASE OUT THE REST…: Question what else you really need. Gift vouchers, loyalty cards, appointment cards… Do you really need them to be physical or can they be done better and cheaper digitally? If you have stocks of them, then use them up but don’t re-print. Choose recycled and/or FSC certified paper for your own printer, but don’t print unless you really have to. Avoid lamination, coating and binding as these reduce the recyclability of paper.

…INCLUDING YOUR LOO ROLL!: Change your toilet paper to a recycled or bamboo alternative made by a manufacturer who gives back – e.g. Who Gives A Crap, which uses half its profits to install toilets in developing countries. It offers a choice of bamboo or recycled roll. Others to look out for include Cheeky Panda and Naked Sprout.


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