[Front photo provided. Gallery photos, showing Lisa Liptak inside her South Broadway salon, by www.PhotoAndGraphic.com.]
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The tall metal cans lining a wall inside Lisa Liptak’s modern hair salon at 182 South Broadway enable her participation in a growing movement to clean up her industry.
“There’s so much waste everywhere,” Liptak says. “I get really excited about recycling things.”
Nearly 100 percent of the hair, metal, plastic and paper products generated by Liptak and her several employees at Nurture Green Salon and Spa are discarded in those cans. The actual waste bin is tiny by comparison, she points out.
Trucks from United Parcel Service then transport Nurture’s carefully packaged waste products to a warehouse in Illinois.
A Canadian organization called Green Circle Salons (GCS), which distributes them to various recycling vendors nationwide, operates the facility.
“The hair is such an incredible resource,” offers Amy Goei, a national director for GCS who is based in Michigan. “We work with many different types of organizations to find solutions for the hair.”
Since 2009, Green Circle Salons has reached similar agreements with businesses in each of the Canadian provinces and 45 states.
According to Goei, local drinking water supplies are potentially at risk because of the substantial amounts of hair salon waste. “The impact is just so great,” she said.
In a statement about her partnership with Green Circle Salons, Liptak reports how stylists like her across North America create over 420,000 pounds of waste every day.
“As a newly Green Circle Certified salon, we are proud to announce that Nurture is now part of a comprehensive recycling and sustainability program that sets out to significantly reduce our industry’s environmental impact on the planet,” Liptak said.
“From the sourcing of ingredients to the disposal of packaging and products, the salon and beauty industry has long posed many challenges to the environment,” she added. “With this in mind, we wanted to join forces with Green Circle to take a stand for our planet and work together to reduce our ecological footprint and make our industry more sustainable.”
When asked how many businesses in the Capital Region are part the GCS recycling program, Goei mentioned only one: Bloom Salon and Makeup Bar in Voorheesville.
Goei said 50 to 75 boxes of waste products are shipped daily by businesses like Bloom and Nurture to a GCS warehouse in Schaumburg, Illinois, northwest of Chicago.
As an example of what happens next, Goei said GCS works with Virginia Polytechnic Institute to create a new type of bio-plastic. Another common use for the hair lengths cut from so many individual heads is to aid in the remediation of oil spills.
Goei indicated that many recycling options exist for the foils, tubes, cans and hair-coloring byproducts that are discarded as well.
Liptak said a $2 fee is added to customer charges for her participation in the GCS program. It funds GCS labels that are required for the shipping process and handy recycling charts for reference in the salon, as well as additional efforts that Liptak makes to further advance her shop’s efficiency.
“By supporting our salon,” Liptak concluded in her statement, “our customers have the peace of mind knowing that they are taking meaningful steps to keeping our communities and environment healthy.”
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