Green Spa Management
But then when you think of the vast quantities of water that spas use and drain away, the sub tropical temperatures the water is heated to, the huge amount of towels and gowns that are laundered and the huge variety of lotions and potions all in plastic bottles, it's perhaps not that surprising after all that the 'green brigade' is calling on spas to be greener.
Is the industry doing enough?
The spa industry is simply huge, a major leading leisure industry and a primary global consumer therefore of water, energy and natural resources.
Surely there is no better industry to spearhead the move towards a greener way of living. Spas are there to heal us, detoxify us and reduce our stress levels. It's only natural spas should extend this to looking after Mother Earth, to nurture and replenish her stocks. And to educate and encourage customers to do the same.
But in reality are modern day spas more interested in making money than being ethical and green? We ask
Can a spa business be both green and commercially successful?
Taking green measures isn't always the easiest or cheaper option. Domestically we try and follow greener routes by buying organic produce and find our shopping bills are higher. And sorting our waste adds a little time and extra things to remember; trips to the bottle bank, washing out empy cartons and tins, remembering to fetch our 'green' bags from the boots of our car when we go shopping.
However, the majority of us persevere with adopting these little changes into our lives because we know that en masse the results are far reaching, that we are contributing towards a brighter future for us and future generations. And actually, it doesn't take a great deal of effort being green, after a while it all becomes 2nd nature. Although can we remember those bags when we go shopping?!!
Spas too face internal barriers to change in the guise of limitations in funds and resources.
However, spas too can undertake small, easy to achieve steps that en masse can have profound effects minimising the negative environmental impacts of a spa. What is needed is the identification of practical, reasonable measures that can be taken through spas adopting a 'whole product lifestyle approach' (Tanqueray, 2000). Such an approach avoids wasteful unecessary refurbishments and forms part of an organisation's long term strategy.
It's not realistic to expect spa businesses to suddenly abandon all synthetic materials but instead to incorporate natural alternatives wherever possible. It's all about making small changes and gradually adapting to new ways of running the business.
So how does a spa become green?
Here's some suggestions of ways a spa can do their bit to be a little greener;
- Stock green product lines wherever possible i.e. mineral makeup brands
- Use local, organic products
- Use towels and gowns that are made of natural fibres and not chemicals and dyes
- Develop some green guidelines for the business and communicate these with staff and customers
- Consider introducing some green treatments (i.e. Green body wraps inc natural ingredients)
- Recycle wherever possible
- Have any equipment selected for the spa accredited by the appropriate environmental body
- Implement water saving measures
Adopting one or more of the above steps is both realistic and achievable for the majority of spa businesses.
Customers too will applaud such efforts and could well show more allegiance as a result. After all we're becoming increasingly aware of the environmental problems that currently exist and the threats this poses to our future. We're being more careful and selective about the products we put in our mouth and on our face & body so why not the businesses we give our money to?
So spas can go green and by going green build for a more sustainable future by attracting more customers, retain their loyalty and nurture and replenish the very recources that led to its popularity in the first place.
Come on spas, what are you waiting for!
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