#SpaWasteNotChallenge launches to help spas reduce their waste footprint
The Sustainable Spa Association (SSA) is launching the #SpaWasteNotChallenge next month to encourage spa operators to find a creative solution for one of their waste streams.
The #SpaWasteNotChallenge, which has been created in collaboration with sustainability and circular economy expert Stephanie Hodgson from Meet The Five R’s, will focus on ways spas can reduce their waste footprints, and this involves looking at both what goes into the business and what goes out.
Focusing on the latter – what goes out – the SSA will challenge spas to choose one of their waste streams to send to, or be collected by a local business or organisation, that will then be able to make use of that material for their operations.
All spas that participate will forge a partnership with another local entity, supporting and strengthening their community, while also doing their bit for the planet, says The SSA.
The SSA will educate members on the principles of zero waste (known as circular economy) and how, with careful planning, this can be achieved by most businesses. The campaign will run from May–July and The SSA will share people’s plans and progress on social media.
How your spa can take part in the #SpaWasteNotChallenge?
The SSA will be providing education for members taking part, explaining what a circular economy (known as zero waste) is and how to directly reduce waste from their business, saving spas money and helping the environment. Check out the SSA’s website for more information on this.
For example, the principles of a circular economy are relied upon to:
- Save businesses money on unnecessary waste within the business, cost of waste to landfill
- Strengthen community bonds and integration
- Help businesses that can use materials unwanted by a spa business
- Improve the environmental footprint of the business.
Then, they suggest hosting a team building event so your staff can work together towards the task. Key topics you could cover in your activity are:
- Discussing what goes into your spa: disposable towels, treatment products, robes, slippers, complimentary teas; coffees and fruit; treatment beds and sheets; PPE, electronics, staff food, cafe food, soft furnishings, etc.
- Discussing what currently happens to these things when they are worn out or become threadbare, or are used once or break/are damaged, or no longer fit the decor.
- Discuss what it costs to dispose of these unwanted things. You can brainstorm how any of that output material could be made valuable or useful again rather than just sending to landfill, incineration or for traditional recycling.
- Brainstorm local entities that might be able to make use of those materials – this could even be a side business of the spa or one of your employees may be keen to take this on. The key is to keep it as local as possible and find a solution that is mutually beneficial.
- Decide on one of your waste streams, as well as a local entity to supply this material to. Make a plan to make contact with that local entity and come up with a strategy that will benefit both your spa and them.
Once you have a plan in place, get the wheels moving and share your journey on social media using the hashtag #SpaWasteNotChallenge and tagging in The SSA (@sustainablespas).
The SSA will share each spa’s plans and actions to show the collective impact the industry can have, and will also be giving out awards for the best entries.
There will be awards for entries in these three categories: Most Creative Solution, Most Impactful Solution and Most Collaborative Solution.
Will you be taking part in the #SpaWasteNotChallenge? Tell us your thoughts below.