Everywhere you look you see products labeled as green, eco-friendly, sustainable, non-toxic, organic and natural. Spas are easily following this trend because guests want holistic treatments and natural products. So how do spas make small eco-friendly changes? It’s not as hard as you think and you don’t have to pay a fortune to do it. If you’re spa is up and running here are some ideas to help you make those baby steps that will bring you huge benefits in the future.
1. Do as much on line as possible, dealing with vendors, sending out newsletters, paying bills, direct deposit, etc. You’ll be surprised at how much less you’re throwing away.
2. Change all paper goods, including bags and tissue paper, to post-consumer recycled. Chain stores such as Staples and office depot all carry recycled printing paper, Universal Companies now carries a huge line of eco-friendly products including toilet paper and paper towels made from post-consumer recycled paper.
3. Set up a clear, easy recycling station in convenient areas for example: in the staff room, create the proper bins for your area, clearly marked and with the recycling schedule posted.
4. Do you us a lot of oil? Collect it and donate it to someone or a company willing to pick it up and turn it into Bio-diesel. There are many on line companies that will pick it up for you and if you post an ad to give it away locally, you’ll definitely get takers.
5. Switch your cleaning supplies to non-toxic ones. Spic and Span which cleans just about everything and is a staple in most spas is a green product. There are so many now that are comparable in cost and efficacy.
6. Use energy efficient light bulbs. You now have more choices for energy efficient bulbs than before, there are now CFL’s that work on dimmers and Led lights come in many colors to produce the desired effect.
7. Replace toilets, sinks and showers with low flow fixtures. If that’s not possible, install inexpensive aerators. These easily installed units increase spray velocity, reduce splash, save water and conserve energy.
8. Buy local. If you serve snacks and drinks at your spa, try to purchase them from a local vendor so you reduce the carbon emissions from shipping and transportation. If you have a retail space, try to incorporate local goods from artisans in your area.
9. As you conduct maintenance in your spa, change over some of the toxic products to healthier options. These are now very easy to find and the prices are comparable:
• Low or no VOC paints
• Non-toxic glues and caulking
• Low or no VOC varnishes
• When replacing flooring, choose sustainable bamboo, cork, recycled tiles, linoleum, marmoleum, natural rugs and mats and non-toxic sealants.
10. Choose your energy. You really have options when it comes to your energy. You can purchase “green” energy or “Green Certificates”. Many states have incentive programs and tax breaks for installing alternative energy sources such as solar panels, Wind systems, geothermal generators and hybrid electric systems. Check out the US Department of Energy for information. www.eere.energy.gov
These small, affordable changes will reduce your energy costs, save water and create a healthier environment for your staff and guests. Now that’s relaxing.