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What does Green Circle Salons do?

GCS is a company with a mission to provide green solutions to the salon and spa industry. They do this in a way that is affordable, achievable and most importantly, with impact. They believe that small steps to transform each salon or spa, with the help of customers and employees, over time, will make that green conversion possible and sustainable. They offer an eco‐systems approach that looks at recycling, energy, lighting, water, cleaning products and the re‐purposing of hair‐ all parts of the salon or spa experience. To do this, they have their own branded services, but also work with best‐of‐class green product and service suppliers. They are also committed to giving back up to 5% of their pre‐tax profits to work with local and international organizations to develop and support programs that make creative environmental impact and lessons for positive change.

Why do I have to pay an eco fee on my final bill?

GCS developed this as a tool to financially enable salons and spas to finance their pathway to becoming greener. Their services make it achievable, the Eco Stewardship Fee (ESF) will help make it affordable and possible. They, and we, feel that a small contribution from you, our customers, can help salons reduce our environmental impact, smoothly and affordably. The money goes to our salon/spa, in what we call the “Green Change Purse”. But, with your contribution, we expect you to play a role by asking what we are doing with these funds. Our vision is to ensure that everyone has a role in change. To us, that means asking for change and contributing towards it. This helps us complete the circle!

So, where does my small contribution go? What is it spent on?

Lets break it down. Here is how it works. A portion of the fee pays for the GCS recycling and collection program. Right now, hair, foils, and colour tubes get sent to landfill along with many other everyday materials. Excess chemical waste gets poured down the drain and pollutes our water bodies. GCS and our salon/spa community would like to prevent this from happening immediately. Also, many companies send plastics and paper to landfill. GCS with their collection trucks and working with a number of local recycling companies, will collect this waste, separated by the salon/spa, and ensure that it is bound for recycling, and ultimately, repurposing. GCS pays a carbon‐offset fee for the trucks to make sure that they are not producing additional carbon emissions in the process.

Now, what do we do with all of the hair? GCS is working with local non-profit groups, charities, businesses and governmental bodies to find solutions to re‐purpose hair. Those new purposes include hair and recycled nylons for the creation of oil booms, used in oil and chemical spills. Hair also has potential to be a good compost material so they are researching innovative, biologically friendly farming practices. This is exciting when you realize all the potential uses that can involve hair. Hair clearly has numerous cradle‐to‐cradle applications worth exploring. We will keep you posted!

Next, a portion will stay with our salon/spa to enable us to afford many other green changes. We call this the “Green Change Purse”. We hope that you, our customers will support this change, and also ask what changes are being done with that support. GCS offers us a menu of products and services that include carbon‐offsetting solutions, green electricity, energy efficient salon specific lighting, eco-friendly printing, and they are sourcing the right companies that will look at various other ways to reduce our salon’s environmental footprint.GCS-Short-Report2

Will all of this make a difference? Will it be meaningful?

Yes it will. First, we feel that we are part of a multi‐win scenario. You, our customer, wins by contributing to, and experiencing a more positive green experience each time you come to visit this salon/spa. We win by becoming competitively greener, and offering a green workplace and experience for our clients. Our employees have a forward looking and proactive workplace they can be proud of every day. Society wins with the GCS commitment to give back and reinvest 5% of their pre‐tax profits to issues related to local habitat, women and children, environmental innovation, and the salon/spa industry. The planet wins when all of the contributors to this simple formula for change are helping to reduce each of their environmental footprints.

Importantly, it is the impact of every person, every time they participate in a salon, spa or health and wellbeing experience that gets added together. Just think‐when you have thousands of businesses, with hundreds of clients each month having cuts, colourings and other services performed‐think of what that adds up to! It’s big. It’s so big that GCS releases annual statements showing the incredible amount of waste being diverted – an achievement that we can all share in together.