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Greening Your Spa With Organic Tea

By: Anna Wasserman
Posted: June 23, 2008, from the May 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

When operating a spa, not only are you providing a wonderful and relaxing experience for clients, but an emotional memory that will entice them to become repeat customers. Whether spa services are needed for a weekend getaway or for the weary business traveler, providing authentic premium menu items is the key to success in a sustainable organization.

Say green

Greening your business, or implementing environmentally conscious practices, is an important direction to take—both for business and ecological reasons. Clients who are concerned with the legitimacy and integrity of a business they support make up an increasing segment of the market called Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) consumers, or “cultural creatives”—a term coined by market researcher Paul Ray. These 63 million consumers represent about 30% of the U.S. adult population, or 1 in 4 people.

According to LOHAS.com, LOHAS encompasses a $228.9 billion U.S. marketplace for goods and services focused on health, the environment, social justice, personal development and sustainable living.

The importance of organics in a spa business is not merely marketing, but the spa’s brand and what it is doing to reduce its pollution contribution. By offering the best quality with the best intentions, an authentic experience is created that clients will take with them. According to Ted Ning, LOHAS conference director and LOHAS Journal editor, “Changes are occurring in the future of spa trends. The industry recently turned its head to focus on the LOHAS consumer—which is the spa-goer—who is interested in relaxation, self-help, wellness and genuine service. Consumers looking to sustain themselves are interested in supporting a business with its own sustainable values, and these companies should be promoting this fact.”

Currently, an organization making a green difference in the hospitality industry is the Green Hotels Association. It promotes properties whose managers are eager to implement programs that conserve water and energy, and reduce solid waste, while saving money. The organization possesses a wealth of knowledge and has done the research on appropriate vendors to make it as easy as possible for hotel directors to initiate changes. Its Web site also features a pre-screened members section that provides ecologically friendly products for every aspect of a spa—from business cards to shampoo and organic beverages.