Young minds arrive at cosmetology school eager to soak up cutting, coloring and texturizing techniques. But when a good school leads by example, it can infuse a fresh mind with so much more.

At the San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology, President Deedee K. Crossett established a number of sustainable practices that not only make good sense from an environmental and business standpoint, but, by example, they teach students to be better stewards in their personal and professional lives.

While SALON TODAY’s upcoming April issue is packed with green tips, tactics and strategies, these actionable ideas are great to get you in a green frame of mind and many are easy to implement in any salon setting.

The Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology:
  • Supplies coffee and water tumblers in the student kits so the school can save on water bottles and paper coffee cups. (200 students + 25 staff members x 5 days a week x 48 weeks=54,000 paper cups/water bottles)
  • Places paper recycle containers near every copy machine so it’s easy to recycle.
  • On the first day of school, encourages future professionals to break down all their student kits, separate out the paper and plastic and walk it down to the recycle bins. This helps students learn where the bins are and emphasizes the school’s recycling practices.
  • Calls Ecohaul to pickup any unwanted furniture, refrigerators, books or wood pallets. While the company charges a fee, it’s an eco-friendly service that makes sure junk items get reused.
  • Collects hair from the cutting floor and gives it to a company that weaves it into mats used to clean oil spills on the beach. Afterward, the mats are used to grow mushrooms.
  • Collects batteries, CDs and used electronic equipment and pays a company called Green Citizen to recycle usable parts.
  • Strives to go paperless—students take all exams online, and now receive their outcome assessments online as well.
  • Installed hand dryers in the bathroom and motion sensors on lights in the hallways.
  • Installed UV-protected shades to keep inside temperatures regulated, which saves on air-conditioning and heating energy.
  • Selected Thursdays as energy-savings days. No elevators are used and all lights in all hallways are off. “It’s a good conversation piece during tours,” says Crossett.
  • Pays as many bills online as possible to eliminate stamps, envelopes and printed checks.
  • Included turning off all computers on the daily checklist.

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