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Green Objectives for 2009: Reflect, Refine, Remind and Redesign

By: Frederic J. Holzberger
Posted: January 30, 2009, from the February 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
man drawing environmental images on chalkboard

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Remind your team about why you have chosen an environmental path. Whether it is a non-smoking policy, paperless communication or a recycling program, any of these can pose a challenge to those who do not want to change. Talk with your staff members about your standards in meetings, and make your clients aware of your eco-friendly initiatives through communications in the form of e-mail or newsletters.

Aveda Fredric’s, for example, makes a point of showing its guests and prospective students the areas it has been working on improving, environmentally speaking. When facilitating a tour, team members let these people know the company has installed features such as a water filtration system and that its water fountains contain purified water.

That has, in turn, encouraged clients and students to bring their own reusable bottles or mugs in with them, helping eliminate the need for disposable water bottles. This, of course, saves money, but more importantly, it has helped reduce the amount of plastic bottles going into landfills. Aveda Fredric’s next goal is to do away with plastic shopping bags, and team members are encouraging clients to bring in their own reusable bags.

Refine

While looking at the big picture, it is important not to lose sight of the little picture—those things everyone does everyday that they may not remember to really even think about.

For example, Aveda Fredric’s recently held a seminar for its staff and students that taught—or re-taught—them all the ins and outs of recycling. To help the key points stick, a few goals specifically pointed out were identified as:

  • Making sure everyone knew where all the recycling receptacles were located so they could use them and direct their clients to use them, as well.
  • Showing the team how the bins are clearly marked with what waste can go in them—separate containers for glass, plastic, aluminum and paper.
  • Educating everyone on the proper way to clean foil, rinse bottles or cans, and remove lids before placing items in the recycle bins.
  • Making the signage very clear to serve two purposes: One, it reminds people to recycle, and two, it makes people think about reducing their waste.
  • Reminding them how to separate cardboard from trash and break it down so the trash bin isn’t just filled with air.
  • Encouraging the team to educate their clients on what they learned.