Stacey Chartres just shipped off foils, hair, leftover colour and other salon waste from Luca Hair Studio for eco-friendly reuse or disposal at a Green Circle centre on the coast. And in just a matter of days, Luca’s byproducts are already filling up recycle bins.
It’s been a year since the downtown Trail business decided green was the optimal colour by joining the Green Circle Salons movement.
In that time, Luca staff has diverted 604 lbs of waste from the local landfill – 480 lbs of solid materials and 124 lbs of liquid chemicals.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this program and we are proud of how much waste we divert every year,” said Chartres. “As we do our own plastic, glass, paper and cardboard recycling those totals are not included,” she added. “In reality we probably diverted double that. If we can inspire other local salons to convert to Green Circle, I would be thrilled.”
Green Circle Salons has a clear mission – to make the North American salon industry sustainable by 2020. Last year alone, hair studios across Canada and United States collectively diverted 560, 856 lbs of waste from the landfill.
Aside from hair snippets and colour byproducts, Green Circle Salons like Luca also recycle all products made from aluminum including colour tubes and aerosol cans.
“The cool thing about aluminum, again, is that we couldn’t possibly recycle it on our own,” said Chartres. “It goes to a warehouse in Vancouver, until there’s enough to send off to a recycling plant.”
Aluminum doesn’t lose its properties when recycled, which means the metal-based packaging withstands the process numerous times.
“We just take the plastic cap off the colouring tube and in it goes,” she said. “It’s horrifying that aluminum is going into the landfill because it can be broken down and reused so many times.”
Byproducts such as wax paper, applicators and gloves used for esthetics can’t be recycled the traditional way, so Luca stores the refuse until there’s enough to send to the coast.
“We are hoping other salons might say, ‘Hey this sounds good,’” said Chartres. “That’s why we are doing this – it’s good for us and we want people to know what we are doing. But more so, I am hoping we inspire other salons because the impact is really huge.”
The Green Circle Salons website lists 155 B.C. salons currently part of the program.
To cover the cost of shipping, Luca is charging a $1 enviro fee on haircuts and $2 on a chemical service.
“We know our clients have a green mindset,” says Luca owner Nancy Armour. “Now, our clients can look good and feel good too. They can leave knowing they’ve contributed to a positive environmental initiative with their hair and we are taking care of all the waste from their visit. It’s a look good, feel good experience.”