Switching to Sustainability | Pocketmags.com
Aesthetic Medicine
Aesthetic Medicine


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Switching to Sustainability

Zoe Myers

According to Greenpeace a truckload of plastic enters the ocean every minute, while the UK produces more plastic waste per person than almost any other country. And while you may be doing your best to recycle at home, how does your workplace shape up?

We’re all aware of the vast amount of disposables used within the aesthetics field, not forgetting the extensive packaging that houses products. So, as an industry, could we be doing better?

Zoe Myers thinks so. As an aesthetician and clinic owner, she is determined to reduce her carbon footprint.

““Reducing waste is something I’ve applied as much as I can in my home life, but I felt like a hypocrite at work as I wasn’t implmenting the same initiatives.” As a result, Zoe began making small changes with big impact, and is encouraging other salon owners to follow suit, believing it won’t just benefit the envionment, but businesses, too.

She says it won’t just benefit the environment, but potentially your business too. With more of the population becoming aware of the dangers of global warming, many are trying to make climate-conscious decisions.

Zoe explains that her patients want to know that products have been made in a sustainable way to ensure that their treatment choices are not significantly impacting the environment. She makes a point of telling her patients about her environmentally-friendly choices, which are always well received. “I’ve had really positive feedback; people really care about this,” she says.

So how can you start to make a change? “Begin with the bin! By the end of the day ours was full of plastic,” says Zoe, who started to review avoidable waste.

Here’s how you can do the same:

GO DIGITAL

One of the simplest things to do is to go paperless, says Zoe, who now does all paperwork on an iPad. Systems such as Pabau, Aesthetic Nurse Software, iClinician, ClinicMinds, allow you to collect patient data, create e-signatures and take payments without any printing.

You could also consider moving any printed marketing material to a digital format. Promotional leaflets could be transformed to emails, while, if budget allows, digital displays and tablets could reduce the adverts and literature you display in your waiting room.

USE RECYCLABLE PRODUCTS

Switching energy supplier could make a significant difference, especially if you offer lots of energy-based treatments. Zoe now uses a renewable energy supplier, which she says has been a really positive change.

“I also now use recycled bed roll, which is cheaper than the single-use bed roll I was previously using,” says Zoe, adding that bamboo tissue paper is another good option to add to your clinic.

She has also introduced eco-cleaning products which have proved extremely beneficial. “I use called Ocean Saver, which provides dissolvable antibacterial solutions which you shake-up with water,” she explains. The bottles are made from 100% Prevented Ocean Plastic, which is plastic sourced from coastlines before it ends up in the ocean, while the cleaning solutions are plant-based and non-toxic.

While in the height of the pandemic, disposable face masks were necessary, Zoe and her team now use clinic-branded rewashable ones.

Zoe also works with a company called the Green Salon Collective, which has a key focus on finding ‘circular solutions’ for salon waste.

While it works mainly within the hair and beauty industries, their work is relevant to aesthetic clinics, too: they burn PPE waste to generate energy and transform plastic waste into new products. “I know burning plastic is not a long-term solution, but it’s better than it sitting in a landfill for thousands of years,” says Zoe.

CHOOSE SUSTAINABLE SKINCARE

Next up, consider the products you use and sell. ““I switched my skincare offerings a couple of years algo in line with my ethos,” explains Zoe, who felt that the brand she was using, although popular, no longer met her evolving climate-conscious standards. Doing so was also important from a patient perspective, with patients keen to know in advance what products are being used along with their green credentials.

Zoe now uses mesoestetic and Medik8, explaining both companies have done a lot to ‘go green’. Both use recyclable packaging and Medik8 uses renewable energy to power its labs.

SPEAK TO YOUR SUPPLIERS

Zoe points out that companies may be losing money without knowing it, as consumers have already made a decision not to use their products simply by researching their eco-friendliness online.

Zoe’s clinic, Authentic Aesthetics in Kenilworth has made changes to become more sustainable

This of course filters down to clinics, and can be disheartening when you know how much you’re doing to be sustainable. Zoe therefore encourages everyone to talk to their supplier about their choices, and educate them on what could be improved.

Zoe acknowledges that one clinic owner may not make a difference to a supplier’s sustainability choices, but if hundreds of people raise concerns or simply ask questions, then they may start taking notice. “It could be really powerful,” she says.

TAKE THE PLUNGE

When you’re so used to working in a certain way with certain products, it can be daunting to make a change. Zoe has never looked back and encourages all clinic owners to take time out to assess their sustainability: “No business is perfect, but every small change can lead to a big impact!”

And with Plastic Free Beauty Day on June 17, now could be the perfect time to start.

SOURCES

https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/challenges/lastic-pollution/

https://www.ocean-saver.com/collections/all

https://www.greensaloncollective.com/pages/recycling

https://www.weareparadoxx.com/blogs/news/plastic-free-beauty-day-2020#:~:text=Every%20day%2C%20around%208%20million,free%20day%20on%20June%2017th

About

This article appears in the June 2022 Issue of Aesthetic Medicine


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COPIED
This article appears in the June 2022 Issue of Aesthetic Medicine