While recycling plays a big part of helping the environment, running a sustainable business is so much more than just that. There are many factors to consider when seeking to make your business more sustainable.
It is important to try to source sustainable products from the get-go, but it is not always possible – and do not want to compromise quality as many alternatives do not always stand up. Any reputable and responsible manufacturer will be able to advise on the sustainability of its products, process and packaging. This is a good starting point to find out about the sustainability of the products and supplies you are using in your business.
One of the main culprits of the impact on the environment is single use plastics.
We must not demonise plastic completely but rather focus on reducing our consumption of single use and unnecessary plastics. Did you know that most plastics originate from crude oil? Which is how nail products are also made.
What to consider when making sustainable changes:
- The use of chemical products such as solvents. Understanding, using and disposing of these correctly is paramount.
- Air pollution (odours). Understanding, using and disposing of these correctly is paramount
- Wateruse & wastewater disposal.
- Energy use.
- Solid waste (paper towels, product containers, other packaging)
Change starts with action
- Cut out or reduce single use plastics
Where possible, change to reusable or eco-friendly straws, cotton pads and cotton buds etc.
Make simple swaps such as offering customers washable glass cups or recyclable paper cups rather than single use water bottles and choose suppliers that don’t use single-use plastic packaging.
- Look at the packaging
Look into the packaging that your products come in – can you reduce this or purchase from brands that consider this? This packaging extends to the tissue paper, the bubble wrap etc.
Ask your suppliers about their sustainability practices. Reputable suppliers will be able to share their product journey and sourcing, and, where possible buy products in glass or paper and cardboard. Find out what we do to ensure that our brand is as sustainable as possible with our packaging.
- Reduce paper (or become paperless)
Direct customers to websites and e-materials and use paperless invoicing and booking systems. Offer e-receipts and print double sided where you can and change your business’s paper bills to online billing.
Educators can produce e-manuals and paperless booking and invoicing systems. This actually makes them easier not to misplace. We always offer e-certificates and e-manuals for this purpose.
What’s more, unsubscribe to catalogues or companies whose mail ends up straight in the bin.
If you still wish to product printed materials, source sustainable printing companies and materials. Small changes such as being made from renewable products and using reducing energy consumption. Some toner particle size means 40% less toner is used per printed page.
- Reduce laundry
Consider single-use biodegradable towels, linens and accessories. While being better for the environment, this can also be more hygienic.
Upgrade your equipment. By using newer, high efficiency machines, water use can be reduced by up to 50% and electrical use by as much as 40%.
- Source sustainable products
Don’t just look directly at treatment product use, but look at all avenues in which you can use more sustainable products from beverages to biodegradable bin liners and gloves. However, you need to do your research and check that they stand up the test for protection.
- Reuse or repurpose
Some brands will sometimes take back empty packaging or products.
Repurpose packing or pots for storage etc. Our KB Nail Tool boxes are perfect for reusing for press on nails, nail essentials and much more. To prevent wastage, get your nail tools and electronic equipment serviced or resharpened regularly. This will ensure they last longer and reduce the need to throw them away. Both of these are difficult to recycle.
Don’t bin old linens; donate to animal or homeless charities.
- Be economical with your products
- Reuse where possible such as eco-friendly cotton wool.
- You don’t even have to invest in costly products, you can cut up microfibre cloths or muslin cloth for nail wipes which can be washed and reused.
- Halve your couch roll and such products.
- Make the most of these items, can you cut a nail file in half, or cotton pad into quarters to get more than one use from it?
- Purchase refills where possible – this is often cheaper.
- By using products more responsibly, not only does it have a beneficial impact on the environment, it saves the business money too.
- Reduce energy consumption
Seek to reduce your bills and see if you can reduce energy usage in your building.
- Carbon footprint
Source local suppliers where applicable and beneficial which can reduce carbon footprint and help the local economy but don’t fear purchasing products globally. Bulk produced products tend to have a smaller carbon footprint than one bespoke product sourced locally.
Not only will many of these small changes help the detrimental impact on the environment, but many will also save your business money. You don’t have to do everything all at once and not every change will be suitable of beneficial for all businesses and that’s okay.
If each business makes just one small change to making their business more sustainable, we will achieve big results together.
Learn what can and cannot be recycled in the nail and beauty industry here.
Let me know in the comments if you found any of these tips helpful for saving money and the environment.