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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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As an industry, spas also still need to improve upon reducing the use of water, electricity, heating and air conditioning. Look at how your spa can reduce overuse, or abuse, in these areas, and consider networking with plumbers and electricians who are ahead of the game and are installing green technology. Do research to learn about tankless, on-demand hot water heaters, as well as geothermal heating and air conditioning. These may be costly now, but they are sure to be the wave of the future.

Going forward in 2009, take the time to consider redesigning your services in order to take them to another level. Look ahead to trends, but instead of just copying them, find ways to make them more eco-friendly. Many spas are moving toward using products that are earth-friendly, don’t have unnecessary packaging, are recyclable and good for their clients, and don’t use petrochemicals. In order for this trend to keep growing, spa owners have to put pressure on manufacturers to make more environmentally friendly products. It will inspire greater strides across the board.

A year in the balance

There are three questions everyone needs to be asking themselves continually: Do I want it? Do I need it? Can I live without it? We have become a throw-away society—if something breaks or doesn’t work anymore, it just gets tossed in the trash. Gone are the days when people had workbenches and tools in their homes for making repairs. It’s time to change your way of thinking about items you can no longer use.

If you don’t want something anymore, consider giving it to someone who does. Recycle it. There is a school in New Jersey that has a biannual swap day where every family is invited to bring in clothes, shoes, sports equipment, baby gear and other items, swapping them with each other for items they need. No money changes hands—it is all about recycling and helping others. And this “freecycling” trend is just beginning to catch on nationwide. Check out facilities or organizations in your area that hold these types of events. Not only is it much friendlier to your budget, but it’s a tremendous boon for the environmentally conscious. Also, second-hand stores, homeless shelters and organizations such as Goodwill are always great for distributing useful items you no longer want around. Just because you can’t use it anymore doesn’t mean something immediately becomes garbage.

In order to stay on top of the game, business owners constantly have to reflect on where they have been, remind themselves of their mission, refine their goals and keep an eye on the future to redesign systems. It serves to keep challenging yourself personally, too. Through research and forward thinking, you can start moving ahead of the times in order to actually be right on time.