Taking the plunge! The key steps to make your salon more sustainable

How do you live a life that’s more sustainable? In the latest instalment from Anne Veck and Keith Mellen, our Most Wanted Sustainability Heroes of 2021, we look at the most impactful steps you can take to make serious, lasting change for a more sustainable salon

This month it’s time for the big steps. Once you’ve incorporated the little tweaks, such as reducing plastic use and looking at where you can re-use elements around the salon, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is for long-term investment. These are the steps to take that will have a big impact on how sustainable your salon is. We also hear from Samuel Chapman, who was astounded to discover what a simple change in the salon did for him and his team.

“These next steps to making your salon more sustainable are not difficult to do but may require a bit more effort. And while they may cost more initially, they should also save you money in the long run” – Anne Veck and Keith Mellen.

Reduce your energy use and carbon footprint  

Choose green energy

Energy prices are currently going through the roof, as you know – if you’re shopping around, it could be time to change your supplier to a green energy company. Spend some time on a price comparison website to see what works best for you. Suppliers like Ecotricity, Good Energy, Green Energy UK and Octopus supply 100 per cent green electricity from renewable sources and a proportion of their gas from green sources as well.

Washing

Heating hot water in the most expensive and energy-intensive activity in the salon, so anything you can do to reduce this important. This includes washing clients’ hair, washing towels and gowns and washing clothes at home. For safety reasons – including protecting against Covid-19 – towels and any items that will come into contact with humans should be washed at 60 degrees. Buy a high-efficiency washing machine to save energy and money.

Movement

Install movement-sensitive PIR sensors to control the lighting in rooms that are not always in use, such as the loo, the staff room, and the colour area.

Save water

Make sure water pipes are checked regularly and leaks are reported and fixed urgently. Install low-flow taps to reduce water flow, or taps with timer controls, or get infra-red sensor taps which automatically turn on the water only being held and stop the flow when not in use.

Invest in water-saving shower heads, like EcoHeads, which make a big difference and are especially good if you have low flow across several taps. And you’d be surprised at the difference after installing low-flow loos; you’ll see the savings in your water bills!

Reduce waste

Use an app to help eliminate colour waste by helping you mix the optimum amount of colour each time. Try Vish or Smartmix by Precision Colour.

“I switched shower heads and saved more than just water” – Samuel Chapman, salon owner, Hove

“The average salon chair uses 600 litres of water per day – I wanted to find a way to reduce this and to move away from the standard shower basin. The Salon Re:Source has a great directory of suggestions, and I came across these great shower heads that reduce water usage.

“The changeover was easy: the shower heads, which are 100 per cent recyclable, were readily available online and cost around £125 each to buy. I simply unscrewed the old shower heads and replaced them with the new shower head – there was no disruption to business at all.

 

“In fact, everyone noticed that we now had double the pressure with less water usage­ – it was so much quicker and easier to remove colour, and we get better water distribution through hair that is coarse and thick. We even had some clients make the switch at home, which is amazing. We add a £2 Green Fee to every service, which helps the team talk about what we are doing and why to ensure that our salon is as sustainable as possible.

“Since making the switch our water usage has reduced by around 60 per cent. Looking to the future and thinking about the sustainability of our salon, we now hope to have solar panels fitted to the roof so we can use direct sunlight to create our own renewable energy.”

 

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