GET A HAIRCUT AND HELP SAVE THE PLANET
You may be surprised to learn that the Australian hairdressing industry sends 1,500 tons of recyclable aluminium back to landfill each year. That’s one and a half million kilos, about 715 cars, or 4 jumbo jets!
Unfortunately aluminium doesn’t degrade easily, it actually contaminates the soil for 500 years. Add to this the waste of plastics, colour tubes, cut hair and more, and you soon see that beauty at any price is no longer an option.
After joining Sustainable Salons Australia (SSA), La unica Salon is set to change all this.
La Unica Salon now recycles 95% of its waste by using the comprehensive resource recovery service offered by Sustainable Salons Australia. “We are committed to sustainable growth that encourages social responsibility and respect for the planet. This simple initiative can make all the difference to what was once landfill waste become a future resource”, says Susana Montero, owner of La Unica Salon.
Rather than contaminating the waterways, excess shampoo and hair colour waste now go to a chemical recycler. Plastics are also recycled into construction material and gardening equipment.
What’s more, La Unica Salon staff love that the proceeds from recycling benefit the community through several programs. Every kilo of recycled aluminium helps Oz Harvest fund four meals for the homeless. Ponytails go to the Variety Charity to provide wigs to children with alopecia, while cut hair is made into booms used to absorb oil spills.
As clients become more aware of the impact products have on the environment, they have also welcomed the opportunity to make a difference.
“The hairdressing industry needs to take action now, and take care of the environment as much as we take care of clients”, says Paul Frasca, co-founder of SSA. “Susana Montero really cares about making their salon as eco-friendly as possible. When they looked at what they could do to become more sustainable both ecologically and economically, Sustainable Salons Australia was the obvious choice.”
By joining Sustainable Salons Australia, La Unica Salon is happy it can support charities and benefit the community, while also taking care of a huge waste problem.
La Unica Salon is featured in the Australian Hairdressing Council (AHC) educational video. This sustainability video is used as a training video in schools, TAFE's, hair product companies in Australia and international hair salons world wide.
Q. What is Sustainable Salons?
A. They are a revolutionary resource recovery program designed for the salon to achieve zero waste, reduce its carbon footprint, and implement sustainable work practices that benefit the local community.
Q. Which charities are Sustainable Salons involved with?
A. Variety charity who supply wigs to children with cancer and alopecia, OzHarvest who feed the homeless, and Rough Threads which is an event that provides haircuts to the homeless and Sustainable Salons provide the hairdressers for the event.
Q. Who is benefiting from my colour service?
A. All colour tubes, aluminum foil, spray cans and paper used in salon are sold for cash. 100% of the proceeds are donated to OzHarvest for feeding the homeless. For every $1 raised we provide 2 meals.A. Building and Manufacturing industries are also benefiting from the diversion of our chemical waste. We try to divert as much as possible into a bucket instead of going down the drain. This all goes to a recycler that turns all that chemical back into water for building and manufacturing trades to use instead of using our precious drinking water.
Q. How do you recycle hair?
A. We make hairbooms for cleaning up oil spills, we donate hair to growing groups for composting, and hair is now being studied for other uses.
Q. What is a hairboom?
A. Its something like a sock filled with hair clippings and tied at both ends. When hairbooms are tied together and deployed around oil spills, they soak up the oil from the ocean preventing catastrophic environmental impacts.
Q. Why are you tying my hair into a ponytail before you cut it?
A. Our salon is part of Sustainable Salons Australia as such we donate all ponytails to Variety charity to make wigs for children with cancer and alopecia.
Q. What do Sustainable Salons do with plastic?
A. They separate it into its categories and send it off to a recycler called Plastics Forest. who turns it into long life products like, government furniture, park benches, and flooring.
Q. Why are you squeezing excess colour off my head?
A. We are trying to divert all excess colour from going down the drain and contaminating our waterways. Sustainable Salons work with a recycler who turns it back into water to be used in manufacturing.