Virtual Tour

Going Green

Earth Month is a friendly reminder to us all that we can do a better job of taking care of Mother Nature. To assist in that effort, we talked to a couple of salon owners in the Oribe network who do what they can every day to decrease their carbon footprint and promote environmentally conscious practices. Below they shared with us their tips for how you too can make your salon more eco-friendly.

Kerry Hovland, Von Anthony Salon in Frisco, Texas

Has Von Anthony Salon always been eco-friendly?
Yes, we built several eco-friendly elements into our salon as part of our original design.

Why did you decide to make your salon eco-friendly?
I came from a construction background that gave me a great understanding of what was available in green initiatives. I feel like I understand the balance between what makes sense for an investment toward operations and sustainability and what makes sense as payback that provides some marketing value. Some things have a return on the investment and some things are worth the 搘ow factor.

What are some of the eco-friendly practices and design elements you've put in place at Von Anthony?
Our water heater is gas-fired and rated at 98 percent efficient. It has a digital thermostat that allows us to control the exact temperature, and it抯 programmed to only run during hours of operation. We also have our hot water on a circulation pump that ensures that there is hot water immediately at every fixture upon demand. We never waste water waiting for it to get hot, and we never waste energy heating water we don抰 need.

All of our lights are very efficient compact fluorescent or LEDs, and they all operate in the 5000 kelvin color range (first hour of daylight) to ensure true color all of the time. The LED lights do not generate any heat and can last up to 40 years.

All of the appliances, dishwasher, washer, dryer and roof top HVAC systems are Energy Star rated. The HVAC Systems are high-efficiency R410a systems with programmable thermostats. The systems are zoned to adjust for the changes in client load as well as changes in the day.

We have a central vacuum built into the baseboard that allows us to capture all of our hair for recycling. Our flooring material is a sheet wood that is made from recycled material. It has a UV coating to protect it from staining. It also helps break down the sound travel and provide some cushioning comfort to the stylist. Not to mention it looks fabulous and cleans great! The front windows of the salon are also coated with a film that reduces heat transfer and glare. The ceiling in the salon is a drop ceiling with a special tile made from recycled material at a density designed to absorb sound travel throughout the space.

What tips do you have for salons that are looking to be more "green"?
Don抰 set out on a mission to be green just to say you抮e green. Look for balance and benefits. What do you want to achieve for the end result? Do you want to reduce your operational cost, be an innovator or just save the world? Research, understand and compare what makes sense in your market. If the investment has no payback, return or benefit to your business, then you are being wasteful to say you are green. There are a lot of great initiatives available卍o your homework first.

How do customers react to the eco-friendly aspects of the salon?
Most of the features are behind the scenes, but we do a very detailed tour of the salon for all new clients. Clients really appreciate the thoughtfulness of the salon once they realize the design. A client might not be aware that our lights are extremely efficient and operate at 5000 kelvin to allow for perfect color, but they do recognize that they have perfect color when they leave. The client may not understand the hot water process, but they do tell their friends about their awesome shampoo experience.

Our clients were also proud to be part of our salon during the last Gulf oil spill when the local media covered our hair recycling process as we helped clean up the mess.

What do you think are the benefits of having a "green" salon?
It reduces our operational cost allowing us to invest in education and other benefits for our team and clients. The entire salon was designed to be a tool for our stylists to perform their very best so that our clients will always receive the most luxurious experience possible. Our green initiatives reduce our carbon footprint on the world and possibly make it easier for others to exist. Our eco-friendly salon enhances our client experience and elevates us above all others.

Paul Morrison, Paul Morrison Colours in Boulder, Colorado

Has Paul Morrison Colours always been eco-friendly?
No, we haven't always been eco-friendly; we stepped up our efforts about two years ago. The thing that really made me aware of the importance of doing whatever we could was a saying I抎 heard: 揟here is no 慳way,挃 which is in reference to the way we deal with unwanted stuff, by just throwing it 揳way.

Why did you decide to make your salon eco-friendly?
We decided to enact some eco-friendly concepts to take responsibility for our footprint on the planet. As far as design elements, we didn't consciously put any in place, but rather capitalized on what we inherited with the space.

What are some of the eco-friendly practices and design elements you've put in place?
Some of the things we did were no brainers, and after the initial set-up, they required no attention at all. We installed window film to reduce heat gain from our Eastern exposure. We switched out some of our lighting seasonally協rom halogen bulbs, which produce a lot of heat, to fluorescent bulbs in the summer to reduce our cooling costs and vice versa in the winter, as we take on the slow and expensive process of changing over to LED lighting for our 90-some fixtures. We also started a recycling program that reduced our refuse by 95 percent. We recycle all cardboard and paperboard, all foil and color tubes, all paper, glass and plastic bottles. The recycler charges by how often they come by to pick up the items, so consolidate when you can. We recently replaced both the heating and air-conditioning units with high-efficiency units. We received rebates from the city for doing that, and along with the monthly energy savings, the payback will be finished within five years.

What tips do you have for salons that are looking to be more "green"?
Contact your energy providers to ask about upgrading and what available credits there may be for your lighting and HVAC. Also, your trash service may offer commercial recycling services. Though you don抰 think of these providers for going green, they are a great place to start and can give you referrals for who can help. You can operate your washing machine for towels on the cold cycle, reducing your hot water costs. Recycle all the magazines you would normally toss out monthly.

How do customers react to the eco-friendly aspects of the salon?
We could do a better job of letting our customers know about our efforts. But to some degree in our community, people expect it.

What do you think are the benefits of having a "green" salon?
We all feel better about doing what we can. When you see the volume of materials that you can recycle and realize that you抮e keeping all of it out of the landfill, you know your efforts really can make a difference.

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