Quietly and without fanfare, several Langley hair salons have been helping prepare for future oil spills while also diverting hundreds of pounds of chemicals and waste from landfills and waterways.
Crystal Hadland, owner of Entres Nous hair salon in Murrayville, is one of those contributing to a better planet.
Tired of seeing aerosol canisters, bleach and hair product go in the garbage instead of being recycled, she sought a way to be greener.
“I found out about Green Circle Salons and knew right away it was something I wanted to do,” said Hadland.
Unlike home owners, businesses in Langley don’t get municipal recycling pick up and there really isn’t an avenue to recycle the unique items salons deal with — until Green Circle came along.
“Before Green Circle, all we were recycling was cardboard. The rest — foils, left over hair product, hair — was all going in the garbage,” she said.
“Now, all that’s left in the garbage is food waste and some food wrappers,” said Hadland.
The six stylists at Entres Nous are completely on board as well, separating out all the appropriate recycling to go to Green Circle.
“It’s really easy. A driver comes to pick up the waste once a week. They do all the work,” said Hadland. The service is free except for a $1.50 fee.
“Entres Nous will divert 400 to 600 pounds of waste this year alone. They can feel pretty good about that,” said Green Circle regional sales manager Jennifer Henry.
“Not only are we excited about it, but our customers really are too,” he said. To that end, Entres Nous is holding a customer appreciation Green Day on Earth Day April 21. All of them will be wearing green and there will be some fun surprises too.
Anything with dye or bleach on it is considered hazardous waste and wouldn’t be eligible for municipal pick up.
Through Green Circle’s recycling program, up to 95 per cent of the waste including hair clippings is kept out of landfills, Henry said.
So all the foils, colour tubes, excess chemicals, paper and plastics will now be separated in-house and collected by Green Circle once a week.
Hair clippings are kept in a warehouse in Burnaby. From there, the clippings are stuffed into nylon tubes and made into booms that assist in containing marine oil spills.
“It’s a great conversation piece, being able to tell your clients that their hair gets to clean up oil spills,” said Henry.
And it already has.
During the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, 1,000 pounds of hair went to aid in the cleanup effort, said Henry.
It was a volunteer effort by Matter of Trust organization who brought the hair booms. The founder of Green Circle also volunteered.
One pound of hair can soak up two litres of crude oil, she said. Traditional booms are made of synthetic materials which eventually need to be thrown away whereas hair is organic.
Last year, Green Circle diverted 2,430 lbs of Langely salon waste (paper, plastics, metals, hair and chemicals) from Canadian landfills and waterways thanks to: Entres Nous, Unique Studio, ID Salon, Euphoria Hair Design, Michaud’s Salon Spa & Wellness Centre, Cherry Bomb, Scissor Sisters and Positive Eyedentities (Formerly Brookswood Clipjoint. More than 100 salons in B.C. are on board, and 400-plus Canada-wide.
To learn more go to greencirclesalons.ca.