Tamara Jercha AS YOU MAKE DECISIONS for your business, what’s good for the environment can be good for your bottom line. As the founder of the National Association of Eco-Friendly Salons and Spas (NAEFSS), it’s Tamara Jercha’s passion to show salons and spas the path to sustainability, from both an environmental and economical point of view. In fact, she even has a certification program.
ST: What environmental improvements can a salon or spa owner make without investing too much additional capital?
Jercha: “While every space is unique in regards to design, age and functionality, there are many ways a salon owner can realize savings. Here are three things to keep in mind:
1. Energy efficiency:
• The use of high efficiency power strips to protect computers and styling tools against power surges eliminate phantom energy loads that continually draw energy from appliances when not in use.
• Inexpensive fixes, such as installing daylight sensors designed to make lighting corrections on sunny days, and motion sensors designed to turn off lights when a space is not in use are also great ways to utilize energy efficiently.
• Lighting is the first thing that comes into everyone’s mind when it comes to saving on energy use, but switching lighting fixtures is not for owners looking for a short-term return on investment. However, I did interview a cosmetology school that reported a three-year return on investment for specialized salon lighting, and that seemed like a relatively short period of time for him so it depends on your view. Lighting is one of the stylist’s most important tools, especially when it comes to color, and will also increase the salon staff’s levels of energy. I consider these facts to be a bonus ROI which will relate back to salon profits.
2. Water conservation:
• Let’s talk about free. It doesn’t cost money to change habits. Try to remember to turn off water when not in use. Don’t let it run while you’re working in color or conditioning treatments. Pretend water is our most valuable resource, because it is.
• Look into water-saving nozzles for shampoo bowls that have been shown to save 30-60% water use.
• Purchase a water heater blanket which will reduce heat loss 25-40%, which directly results in energy cost savings and less time waiting for water to heat up.
3. Waste reduction:
• If you are charged by the volume or weight of your waste, you will experience savings by reducing salon waste. The best way to reduce waste is to use less.