Green Circle

CODE salon / February 20, 2023

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The salon industry generates 877 pounds of waste per minute.
Yes, read that again. Usually, when we discuss waste or trash, we think of plastic bags, food scraps, and other disposable items. We tend to neglect thinking about the waste our pleasures produce, such as getting our nails done, hair dyed, or waxing our eyebrows. As a whole, the beauty industry generates more than 421,000 pounds of waste daily, a whopping 2,000,000 pounds per week. From bleach, to foils, to plastic wrap, to cotton swabs, to hair itself, all are thrown into trash cans or poured down salon drains. They become out of sight, and out of mind but the effect these items have on the environment are extremely detrimental. Salon waste is not biodegradable, meaning it fills up landfills and will remain for thousands of years, polluting the area with obscene amounts of carbon dioxide. As for the bleach and dye that gets poured down the drain, the toxic chemicals seep into the local water supply, slowly polluting the water we drink. With climate change becoming more pressing than ever, a change had to be made.

Who is Green Circle?
In 2009, Shane Price took charge. With a background in molecular biology and biochemistry, Price pledged to protect and maintain the environmental health of our planet. He sought out to explore new ways that people in urban settings can live more sustainably. Partnering with a team of beauty industry and salon professionals, he gained valuable insight on the waste impact of salons. Turns out, the industry was in a dire need for change. The plan was set and with that, Green Circle was born, becoming the world’s first sustainable salon solution.

So, how does Green Circle work?
With Green Circle’s cutting edge technology, salons are now able to recycle over 95% of all salon waste. This includes hair dye, bleach, foils, all plastic and paper items, gloves, spa items, and even hair itself. When a salon joins the program, Green Circle sends waste boxes and designated waste cans for the certain items so the stylists or estheticians know what to recycle where. Once the boxes are filled and everything is packaged correctly, the salons ship the waste to Green Circle facilities where the items are broken down and transformed into clean energy, water, fuel, or even bicycles. To further their positive change, they use the wasted hair clipping to research and develop new environmental technology, such as storm water filtration.

What is their impact so far?
Green Circle now has over 16,000 active members across North America. As of this year,1,284,437 pounds of salon waste was kept out of landfills and waterways. Additionally, 85,800kWh of clean energy was generated from waste products, which is enough to power 94 homes
for a month. And finally, 47 metric tons of CO2 was avoided by keeping 157 metric tons of single-use waste out of local landfills. This is equal to taking 10 cars off the road for a year.

Why do they align with CODE’s values?
Here at CODE hair salon, we have always prided ourselves on making any impact we can, big or small. We stand firm with our belief that as a community, we will always work to better the world around us, from the individual person to the collective. Being a salon in San Francisco, we wanted a way to lower the impact of our carbon footprint in this densely populated city. Partnering with Green Circle was a no-brainer for us, as they provide a simple, cost effective way to make a huge difference. So, if you notice the Health and Wellness Eco charge of $5 on top of your CODE salon appointments, just know you too are helping foster a better future for the planet!

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