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The Ultimate Guide to Become a Green Salon

A small inspiration can turn into a movement, and that’s exactly what happened when Shane Price, CEO of Green Circle Salons started talking with a green salon owner in Canada in 2008.

He was creating a directory of green minded salons to make it easier for consumers to find them and for salons to be found. Yet, the term “green-minded” wasn’t well defined for the salon or the customer.

Price saw an opportunity to explore the green salon market more deeply and how they view “waste.” In the meantime, he started to educate himself on ways to turn waste into something useful.

He started pitching green-minded ideas to connections in the salon industry. Price was starting to see, and understand, the global impact salons can have to revolutionize how they divert waste and off-set environmental damage.

In the spring of 2009, Green Circle Salons was born, focused on managing environmental stewardship for the salon industry. It’s the world’s first, and North America’s only, sustainable salon solution to recover and repurpose beauty waste to keep people and the planet beautiful.

Green Circle Salons and a Simple Formula to “Make Beauty Beautiful”

Price is dedicated to looking at the salon industry and the environment from the same lens. “When you reduce waste, you invest in your business and the natural world – it’s that simple,” says Price.

After 10 years in business, Green Circle Salons’s mission is still the same:

  • Divert waste through simple recycling and repurposing programs
  • Build revenue by helping green salons to become more profitable
  • Save money by offering a menu of approved, green-minded products and services clients desire
  • Build a community and tribe online to connect green-minded consumers and salons quickly and easily

This mission is perfectly targeted to off-set waste created by the salon industry, which is equivalent to 877 pounds per minute.

Green Circle Salons’s approach offers a proven way to recover and repurpose this waste in a way that makes sense for the industry.

“Instead of charging separate fees for waste removal by type, we embed a general environmental stewardship fee for the salon. It’s built into the final service ticket for each guest at an average of $1 – $2. Customers know a portion goes to support green efforts,” says Price.

To help market green-minded efforts, Green Circle Salon offers:

  • Branded bins to separate and collect waste
  • Table talkers to inform customers about the partnership and value
  • Window decals to alert street traffic you are a Certified Salon
  • Mirror clings for each stylist station
  • Point of purchase placard to thank clients for supporting a green-minded lifestyle

When you choose to become a Certified Green Salon, you also get:

  • Direct channel to green-minded consumers plus a listing in the directory
  • Flat fee for all bins charged monthly; no long-term commitment, hidden costs or contract
  • Consult with a specialist to ensure smooth adoption of the program and how to best leverage it for your specific business

On average green salons generate around $3 – $5000 revenue per year, making it a unique funding tool that delivers profits while supporting climate goals.

Simple Tips to Green Up Your Salon

To improve energy efficiency of your salon right now, here are simple tips:


  • Install a programmable thermostat to lower or raise temperature during off hours
  • Use light sensors in bathrooms, stock rooms, and offices
  • Donate old electronics like keyboards, stereos, phones or computers to an E-waste recycling center
  • Utilize an energy efficient mode for electronics to reduce the energy bill; plug them in during the evening and shut them down instead of “sleep mode”
  • Buy green products including cleaning products, paper, detergent
  • Reduce paper usage by printing one memo and posting it in a common area, or using eco mode for printing


  • Schedule an energy audit to locate drafts, energy leaks and inefficient appliances
  • Replace old light bulbs with LED’s for energy cost savings and longer life cycles
  • Install an air purifier that filters down to .03 microns or less and includes a VOC filter to ensure air quality is good for guests and staff
  • Use a tankless water heater or insulate hot water tanks and pipes to keep water hotter for longer periods of time

“Ecology and economy are tied; our resources on this planet are limited,” adds Price. “Every little bit salon’s can do improves the quality of air and water for everyone.”

The Future for Green Circle Salons

Did you know there are currently 2077 Green Circle Certified green salons across America?

In addition to continuing to grow their environmental stewardship program, Green Circle Salons has new goal – to get climate positive.

Price says they want to have a negative carbon footprint and implement alternative energy sources and other gold standard carbon offsets. Future plans also include using donations to invest in projects overseas, such as solar, wind, thermal – to help other countries move away from dirty energy to green.

Green Circle is also working on a hair innovation program to leverage hair waste and transform it into “hair plastic,” which can be turned into recycle bins. They are also testing hair as an absorbent for spill pollutants like crude oil and diesel.

“It’s time to get over the yuck factor – and see the value in it!” adds Price.

To plan ahead, Green Circle Salons is thinking towards what the economy can bear in the next 20 – 30 years. “There will be five billion middle class consumers by 2030. We cannot meet the needs of that market without being more resourceful and find solutions to preserve clean air and water.”

“I believe the salon industry can be the leader that changes all industries. They have a lot of face time with clients, unlike any other professional. It’s a very powerful position to help educate,” says Price.

“Salon owners also have a clear view on waste; what it is and where it goes,” says Price. “That’s why we use solid waste blueprint for the salon business. It needs to be easy and efficient for ANY salon type business to join and reduce obstacles to waste management.”

Learn how SalonBiz can set up “Service Charges” to accommodate your salon to go green.

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