Business

Courtenay salon joins national movement to shink environmental footprint

Courtenay’s own Level 10 Eurospa has partnered with Green Circle Salons in an effort to help reduce the waste produced by the salon industry.

Green Circle Salons is a company with a mission to help the salon industry reduce its environmental footprint via the company’s innovative recycling and repurposing services. This includes the repurposing of hair for the creation of oil spill booms (used in the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010 oil spill disaster), emergency bedding (used in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake), production of bioplastics, and other sustainable research applications. Today, GCS diverts waste from landfill spaces in 49 states and 10 Canadian provinces and has the capacity to service every zip and postal code in North America.

Last week, Level 10 and Green Circle Salons co-hosted an information session for all 15 local salons.

“All of the salon waste that is produced, because of the chemicals associated with it, there is only a very small percentage that is recyclable in the traditional ways,” said Jennifer Henry, the manager of global brand strategy for Green Circle Salons. “Outside of the papers and plastics… we pick up all the rest - the aluminium foil; the colour tubes that are contaminated with hair dye; all of the hair gels - we process all that as hazardous waste.”

And then, there’s the hair - lots of hair.

GCS repurposes the hair into oil spill booms at its Burnaby warehouse - one of four in Canada.

“The hair comes to the warehouse where it gets cleaned - we pick out all the bobby pins and the little bits of hair and what not that gets swept up with it,” said Henry. “Once it is cleaned we send it to the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Langley. They take the hair and stuff it into nylon stockings for us. Then the stockings are shipped back to Burnaby, for hair booms.”

The oil spill booms are donated to disaster relief efforts. There are 2,300 booms currently sitting in the Burnaby. The average boom can pick up approximately two litres of oil.

The long-range plan is to sell the booms, but “we need more hair; we need more salons on board,” said Henry. “The oil spill companies will not consider us a viable business to purchase booms from until we are massive.”

Leanne Boyd, owner of Level 10 Eurospa, said the concept of not only the oil booms, but lessening the footprint of her salon in general is important to her.

“At Level 10 Eurospa, we are serious about sustainability,” she said. “Our clients have told us it’s important to them, and so we simply had to do our part by joining the Green Circle movement. It was a no-brainer for us, they make it simple. We set up the recycling bins, and literally overnight we became the greenest salon in the Comox Valley! I’m now calling on our community to come together in a remarkable way that showcases our green mindset.”

For more information on Green Circle Salons, go to greencirclesalons.ca

–With files from GCS

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