Source: Courtesy of Biolage
Being able to beautify our clients is truly a gift. An even greater gift is to have the power to minimize our impact on the earth to help maintain the beauty and health of the world around us—for ourselves and for generations to come. With that in mind, I try to conduct my life through the lens of sustainability in all things, both personal and professional. Here are some of the ways I try to conscientiously honor and respect Mother Nature, both at work and at home.
1. Water Bottle Awareness. Millions of plastic water bottles wind up in landfills, where they sit for centuries. To minimize this waste, I carry a reusable water bottle wherever I go. I even empty my bottle before going through security at the airport and then fill it at the refill stations that are now located in many terminals. My bottle keeps my beverages fresh, cold and delicious which is important since we all know how critical it is to keep our bodies hydrated.
2. Drive Responsibly. I have chosen to drive an electric car to reduce emissions and reduce oil use. I believe it’s a cleaner, better way to fuel my vehicle, and it’s also a tremendous cost savings for my transportation budget.
3. Turn Out the Lights. I’m always careful to turn off lights when not in use, and I make sure the lights are out at home during the day. I also use LED lighting or CFL bulbs whenever possible. Both of these lighting options are energy efficient. LED lights use up to 85% less energy than traditional bulbs and CFL bulbs last 10 times longer and utilize about one third of the energy of typical incandescent bulbs
4. No More Ziplocs. Plastic storage bags are admittedly convenient for storing food in the kitchen, but they can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in landfills. That’s why I’ve switched to reusable sources of food storage in my home. It’s easy enough to rinse out a food storage container and use it again and again, and it prevents hundreds of plastic bags from going into the trash.
5. Choose Recycled Packaging. As hairstylists, we throw away so much packaging each day from the products we use. So I try to select recycled and recyclable packaging whenever possible, both for the professional products I use, as well as for the beauty and lifestyle products I use at home. By using recyclable packaging I am helping to save raw materials and manufacturing energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
6. Curl Up with a Hot Water Bottle. Instead of running the heat throughout the night, I switch it off and curl up with a hot water bottle instead. This saves on energy bills and this charmingly low-impact practice keeps me toasty and warm all night.
7. Donate Unused Items. It’s tempting to toss unused clothing, appliances, tools, etc. in the trash but when you do, it creates more waste that piles up in overflowing landfills. Donating these items to a worthy local or national charity not only keeps these items out of landfills, it provides essential goods to people and communities in need. I recommend two apps that are great for giving your stuff away for free: Up In The Landfills and FreeCycle
Source: Courtesy of Biolage
8. Go Paperless. Whenever possible, I try to eliminate paper from my daily routines. I pay my bills online, I read newspapers and magazines online, I use online calendars and schedulers. It makes me feel good to save as many trees as I can and keep as much wastepaper out of the trash as possible.
9. Eat a Plant-Based Diet. Meat production is one of the most significant contributors to climate change. The entire process of meat production, from agriculture to animal farming, requires enormous amounts of water. It also produces greenhouse gas emissions, waste and pollution. For those reasons, as well as for my overall health and wellness, I have chosen to stick to a mostly plant-based diet. I feel it’s the best option for myself and for the planet.
10. Purchase Fair Trade. The goal of Fair Trade is to reduce poverty for farmers and workers in developing countries by paying them more in the short term and helping them improve their skills, reinforce their communities and protect their local environments. More and more companies offer fair trade products and/or use fair trade ingredients, and I try to shop these organizations whenever possible. It’s so gratifying to know that the coffee I’m enjoying, for example, is helping to sustain a group of coffee farmers in Peru with fair wages and safe working conditions.
11. Tidy Up with Eco-Friendly Cleaning Formulas. Anyone who has experienced headaches or runny noses from their cleaning products have experienced the effects of the toxic ingredients found in many of these formulas. Eco-friendly cleaning products contain no toxic ingredients, so they’re kinder to the body and kinder to the environment. They also tend to come in recyclable containers, which makes them a double eco win.
12. Wear Sustainable Clothing. Many people don’t connect fashion with the environment, but the reality is clothing production and disposal have a huge impact. Because of the resources required for dying and treating clothes, the use of non-recyclable materials, the exploitation of people and animals, and the wasteful packaging that often occurs in the clothing business, I always seek out eco-friendly clothing companies. These choices might cost a bit more, but the quality of sustainable clothing is generally higher, and the items are longer-lasting.
Source: Courtesy of Biolage