7 Ways to Green Your Spa
Lisa Sykes, Director of Sustainability, Universal Companies
The green movement is progressing toward sustainability goals. After all, no one begins a journey at their intended destination. Greening your business is no different.
When GSN Planet (Green Spa Network) unveiled their Pledge for the Planet, we felt it was really helpful and wanted to share it with you. Rather than a series of oaths, it’s a collection of small actions that make a big difference. They’re practical tips with resources that make easy first steps.
Take a look! And if you like what you see, join us in signing the pledge.
GSN Pledge for the Planet
Refuse single-use plastic products and packaging in your business and encourage staff and customers to participate. Replace straws, coffee cup lids, cutlery, plastic cups, bags, and packaging with paper, glass, stainless steel or other recyclable choices. Replace all plastic bottles with boxed water or water in recyclable aluminum cans, install refillable water stations, offer guests reusable water bottles that are not plastic. Create signage and regular communication to help staff and customers avoid single-use plastics.
2. Water Conservation
Replace all shower heads and faucets with flow restricting, water-efficient fixtures. Modern low-flush toilets can reduce the amount of water used per flush by more than 50 percent compared to older styles. Keep up on maintenance to reduce the amount of water lost through toilet or sink leaks. Place signs in guests’ rooms to suggest the reuse of towels to save on laundry. On property grounds, plant drought-tolerant landscaping that is less demanding on water supplies and irrigate late at night or early in the morning to reduce evaporative loss.
Study your state’s recycling requirements and manage recycling opportunities throughout your workplace. Provide clearly labeled recycling containers to educate your staff and guests. Pay special attention to recycling linens, sheets, towels, and clothing properly as these items are known to clog landfills.
Determine if solar, wind, and other renewable energy solutions will work for your business. Many energy companies offer free assessments and improvements like LED lightbulbs, more efficient heating systems, and improved insulation. Get guests involved by placing cards in each room that encourage them to turn out the lights when they leave.
Many state, regional, and local municipalities have programs that help small businesses perform energy audits and efficiency upgrades. These investments have an immediate financial return and add marketing value to your business. Contact your local power provider for guidance.
The Small Business Association has a list of resources by state.
Grazing land for cattle is the number one destroyer of forests and rainforest. Help to protect these resources by adding a Meatless Monday option to the weekly catering menu and let guests know that by choosing vegetarian or vegan options they are helping to save trees and reduce carbon emissions.
Plant trees as part of your sustainability commitment in your business, at home, and in your community–spread the word about carbon sequestration.
- GSN created the Tree Planting Initiative to mobilize the spa industry to plant 1 million trees! The Initiative is premised on the critical and urgent need to regenerate the earth using trees' natural abilities to reverse climate change.
- To join, visit Green Spa Network.
Whether it's food or products you ingest or place on your skin, ingredients and soil matter. If you are eating a plant or putting product on your body that has been grown in soil treated with harmful fertilizers or chemicals, you're eating or absorbing them in your body. Know your supply chain and be sure the products you consume, sell, and provide to your customers are made of pure, organic materials and ingredients.
Know the facts about climate change, renewable energy, and ocean preservation and share with your networks, staff, and customers. The more awareness we can create, the better chance of fostering lasting, positive change.
Universal Companies is proud to have a team of experienced spa advisors on staff and welcomes you to consult with our professionals about spa products and supplies, including ingredients, equipment, and retail. Dedicated to the success of spa professionals everywhere, we're grateful to be recognized with the American Spa Magazine Professional's Choice Award, Favorite Distributor of the Year for many consecutive years. (Thank you!)