When I ﬁrst launched The Organic Glow Beauty Lounge in 2010, our slogan was ‘the UAE’s ﬁrst eco-friendly salon’. It was a brand new concept to introduce to the beauty industry in the UAE. The slogan later changed to ‘the UAE’s ﬁrst organic and vegan salon’, to further highlight my message and mission.
Launching a green business was very important for me as I have been an eco-warrior since a very young age, so it was an extension of my green lifestyle. Nowadays, with the decline of the environment’s health and the shocking climate change reports, it really should be every business’s duty, in whichever sector, to apply sustainable practices to oﬀ set its carbon footprint.
Education is key to implementing a green policy in the workplace. Everyone should be educated on the reasons why sustainable practices should be applied, not for PR reasons, but because it matters. Explain the importance of protecting our environment by conducting presentations, showing documentaries, having an eco-week, etc.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
When we reduce our consumption and reuse what we can, we don’t have to recycle much. Providing recycling bins for the diﬀerent materials, will encourage staﬀ to be more responsible. If possible, go paperless with your bills, and opt to sending invoices to your clients via email. In my salon, we don’t print a take away pricelist because we can send it via email or WhatsApp. Our clients actually appreciate that we care for the environment.
Install a water filter
This is one of the easiest, most cost-eﬀective and healthiest ways to get rid of disposable plastic bottles. Encourage staﬀ to use reusable bottles and glasses instead of using plastic cups and plastic bottles. Most meeting rooms I visit have small plastic bottles, which I refuse to consume.
Our choice of electronics and appliances matters! Energy-efficient appliances and lighting such as LED’s, use less energy. Look for the Energy Star symbol when purchasing fridges, dishwashers, coffeemakers, etc. These use less energy.
Use environment-safe cleaning products
Switch to toxic-free and ecofriendly cleaning products which don’t contain the harsh chemicals that you’ll ﬁ nd in regular cleaning products on the market. Safer cleaning products are better for the staﬀ , the customers and the environment.
Reduce the unnecessary disposables
Although the beauty industry requires the use of disposable items for hygienic reasons, some items such as the plastic flip-flops are not a must! We encourage our clients to get their flip flops at all times.
Proper battery disposal
Keep ink, toners and batteries out of the environment by disposing of them properly. Most stores nowadays have drop-off bins available with special bins for batteries.
You can start with small changes to make your business more sustainable. Start with the easiest quick ﬁxes and enjoy the process of ‘greening’ your business.