Local salon reducing their carbon footprint by going green

Orchid Rain Salon and Spa is doing its part to minimize its ecological impact.

FRESH LOOK – Robyn Shackleton applies a hair colour treatment to her client

FRESH LOOK – Robyn Shackleton applies a hair colour treatment to her client

Orchid Rain Salon and Spa is doing its part to minimize its ecological impact.

As of June 5, Orchid Rain Salon and Spa enrolled in the Green Circle Salon program to become certified as a sustainable salon.

Robyn Shackleton, owner of Orchid Rain Salon and Spa, said the company has always done what it can in terms of recycling but they were limited by the services available at the time.

“We’ve always done the regular recycling you can do, like the cardboard, the plastics, the paper,” said Shackleton.

As a sustainable salon, Orchid Rain is able to take that further. Shackleton said that now about 80% of the salon’s products and waste can be recycled in some way. Foil and metal tubes used for hair colour are recycled and melted down to make new foil for the hair industry, or sold to automotive companies to build carts and such, said Shackleton.

Excess colour left over from a treatment would previously be washed down the drain, but now it is collected, stored and picked up twice a week to be incinerated and power machinery. Even hair clippings can be recycled and are used to clean up oil spills in the ocean.

It is a good change, added Shackleton, as the salon and spa industry is one that uses a lot of consumables.

“There is a lot of waste.”

Sustainability has always been a concern of Shackleton’s as she believes it is important for the survival of our planet and therefore, us.

“If we’re going to act like our planet is a place where we have another one to go to, we’re not going to be able to be here for much longer,” said Shackleton. She added that, as a mother of three, she has always been concerned about the future sustainability of the planet.

Another reason Shackleton wanted to get certification as a sustainable salon was for her customers. In a survey prior to Orchid Rain enrolling in the Green Circle Salon program, Shackleton found that many of her customers would choose a salon based on its impact on the environment alone.

Becoming a sustainable salon changes little in Orchid Rain’s services. Basically, the biggest effect on customers will be a new $2 eco-charge that is charged per transaction.

Green Circle Salons is the company that manages and collects all Orchid Rain’s recyclables. Shackleton said the program is quite popular in Vancouver and just starting to be adopted elsewhere in the country, making Orchid Rain one of the few Green Circle certified sustainable salons in the country.

Green Circle Salons has a goal to make the entire Canadian salon industry sustainable by 2020. Currently, there are over 150 Green Circle certified sustainable salons, most of them in Ontario. The company is also partnered with several other organizations working towards a more sustainable future.

Shackleton said sustainability is important for all businesses, not just salons and spas. She added she hopes she is setting an example, both to other business owners and customers, by making her business sustainable.