Spa Pros Reveal Their Eco-Friendly Spa Strategies

eco-friendly-spa-strategies[Image: Getty Images]“We’re constantly looking at ways to reduce our carbon footprint. We have a huge recycling program on property, and try to order all of our treatment products by the gallon—or even larger—to refill smaller plastic containers. The spa’s paper products are made from recycled materials, and we opt for eco-friendly cleaning products as much as possible,” says Michelle Ufer, spa director, Chateau Elan Winery & Resort in Braselton, Georgia.

“We believe in a deep connection between personal health and planetary sustainability, and have worked carefully to create an eco-conscious spa and sanctuary from day one. We refinished and furnished the spa with eco-sensitive materials, including recycled driftwood and organic textiles. We also constructed the first county-approved wetlands for a non-agricultural business in Sonoma County, saving nearly 1,000 gallons of water per day by recycling graywater for underground irrigation,” says Michael Stusser, founder and owner, Osmosis Day Spa & Sanctuary in Freestone, California; founding member of the Green Spa Network. “In 2009, we installed solar thermal hot water collectors, which provide 80 percent of the BTUs needed to heat all of the spa’s hot water! Additionally, our skincare products are produced by companies committed to environmental responsibility, and we use ceramic cups rather than disposable ones to serve organic tea and purified water. Finally, we provide our used enzyme bath mix to the
community for use as mulch, saving approximately 18 cubic yards of landfill space per month.”

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“Our goal is to contribute as little as possible to our waste systems. We’re conscious about recycling all of our product packaging, and have reusable vessels for treatment product presentation and guest snacks. We work closely with our team at One Oak Farm to incorporate their bounty into the spa experience—for example, the farm’s botanicals enhance our treatment trays, infuse our beverage waters and provide aromatherapy in spa spaces,” says Carolyn Doe, spa director, The Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary, North Carolina.

“Complexions was the first LEED-certified spa in the country to reach the Gold Level for new construction, thanks to the way we recycled our waste and the eco-friendly materials we chose, including water-saving plumbing fixtures; LED lighting; cork and recycled tires for flooring; energy star-rated equipment; non-VOC paints; and even drought resistant landscaping. We also look for ECO-certified, organic, clean and recycled materials in all the products we carry. We want everything to be good for our guests and for the earth, from treatment products to the environment we work in,” says Denise Dubois, owner, Complexions Spa for Beauty and Wellness in Saratoga Springs and Albany, New York.

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“Located inside Colorado’s Silver LEED-certified Westin Riverfront, Spa Anjali has been dedicated to sustainable operations since we opened more than 10 years ago. Our popular ‘Green Check In’ gives resort guests $10 off for coming to their spa appointment in the robe provided in their hotel room; we have an extensive recycling program; and we employ only natural cleaning methods,” says Ingrid Middaugh, spa director, Spa Anjali at The Westin Riverfront in Avon, Colorado. “The spa also uses organic, natural treatment products—and
sources locally whenever possible. We carefully select companies that align with our sustainable goals, and guests have really embraced our eco-friendly brands, from Dazzle Dry nail polish to skin care from Laurel Whole Plant Organics and Éminence, the latter of which has planted more than 5,900 trees on behalf of our spa.” “PURE Spa carries organic product lines packaged in earth- friendly, recyclable or natural materials. Even our retail space offers merchandise with this concept in mind, featuring sandals made of eco-friendly material, tote bags made from natural fibers, and jewelry derived from agate and druzy stones. We also sell multifunctional coconut oil candles—after burning, the wax can be used as a moisturizer and the jars can eventually function as drink tumblers. Finally, we only use glassware throughout the facility to help eliminate unnecessary waste,” says Jackie Martinez, director of spa & retail, PURE Spa at Pelican Grand Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

–by Alexa Joy Sherman


This story first appeared in the April issue of Dayspa magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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