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Suddenly, it’s Memorial Day weekend, and you can’t hide it for much longer. Toes with polish remnants from who knows when stare up at you from strappy sandals, and a lot more skin – whole appendages, even – are now your biggest wardrobe staples. You likely need a massage just thinking about what should get waxed before being publicly displayed next to itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dots. When you’re looking to treat yourself to summer beautification in the coming weeks, consider the growing trend of eco-friendly spas.
According to a JP Morgan industry report, over the last three years the salon industry shrunk by 2 percent each year, while the organic salon segment grew by 16.7 percent. The strong message is that consumers want to feel good about splurging to look good. And the spa industry is responding in kind.
Tamara Jercha, founder of the National Association of Eco-Friendly Salons & Spas (NAEFSS), decided in 2009 to help businesses adapt to the demands of today’s green salon-goer. “Sustainability’s broad definition is to meet the needs of today’s generation without compromising the next generation’s ability to meet their needs,” said Jercha. “The question is how can we relate this to salons and their everyday practice?”
Jercha advises those spas that join the association (mainly on the east and west coasts), to begin with taking a closer look at their waste, energy and water use. NAEFSS awards Sustainability Certifications to spas that earn points in 11 categories of its “Salon & Spa Sustainability Model.” The categories are modeled after LEED certification (Jercha herself is certified), but tailored to industry needs – which shampoo nozzles use the least water with the highest pressure, for example. Those spas that meet the silver, gold and platinum point requirements can proudly display these certifications to attract clientele.
But if your local salon isn’t clearly labeled “eco-friendly,” there are ways to gauge its friendship with the environment. The first, obviously, is to “just ask,” says Jercha. “They’ll be embarrassed if they’re not, and the more people that ask the question, the more likely they’ll be to change their practices.” In addition to asking about water and energy use, check that the spa uses non-toxic products – those that are plants-based and avoid formaldehyde, parabens, toluene and phthalates.
For those in the NYC area, W!NK Beauty Bar in Brooklyn offers a vegetable-based wax and natural nail care, and Buttermilk Spa in the Hudson Valley uses solar and geo-thermal energy to heat their lavish sauna, steam room and “endless pool.” Spaindex.com, Spafinder.com and GreenSpaNetwork.org are also helpful resources when looking for principled pampering near you.
6:00pm - 9:00pm
MIST (at The Kalahari) 46 West 116th
Making Green From Green Event
Food Waste's Shocking Truths: Hunger, Business and YOU
Baruch Performing Arts Center (BPAC)
55 Lexington Ave. enter 25th St, betw Lex + 3rd
April 20-21, 2013
Location: Javits Center North, New York, NY
April 22, 2013