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“Give Green a Chance”

From face and body skincare companies to accessories, equipment, and device suppliers; spas and wellness resorts have made sustainability a priority for over 25 years.

Sustainability as a whole is defined as a continuous or a practice that maintains a condition without harming the environment. Sustainable spas are committed to the reduction of unsafe practices and exposure to damaging elements and are open to education and implementing new environmentally friendly strategies and techniques. Sustainable spas strive to conserve natural resources and operate within environments that promote health and well-being.

In the spa industry, this is important when it comes to human wellbeing and planet health. This year in 2022, everyone knows we are dealing with a massive climate crisis, so now more than ever, the spa industry is trying to be as sustainable as possible. Many scientists say if we don’t begin to integrate some key changes now, it might be too late to save the planet. With rising temperatures, increased natural disasters, loss of wildlife, food and water insecurities as well as many other contributing factors adding to this crisis, it is time to take responsibility and action. As a spa industry, we represent only a small portion of the entire population, however, any efforts we can make are worthwhile!

Necessary changes due to the pandemic for the past two years have triggered a set-back and adapting to a new way of being and operating a spa. Some changes will be long-term but the resourcefulness and inspiration for new methods to be more sustainable will be a high priority in 2022 within the spa space.

Undoubtedly the biggest factor in climate change is the rapid increase in Carbon Dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere every second. A helpful tool to see if you and your spa are adding to the excess Co2 is by calculating your overall carbon footprint. A carbon footprint is the total Greenhouse Gas Emissions caused by individuals, events, organizations, services, and places, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent. Understandably with our current lifestyles almost everyone, at least in Florida, has a carbon footprint. We drive, we need air conditioning, we travel by plane, we eat meat and dairy, and we are always up to date on the latest fashion trends. Almost everyone is doing something that releases Co2, but most important as a spa industry, is that we take steps to offset these footprints

There is a push for beauty brands to ensure ethical manufacturing by sourcing fair trade ingredients and using eco-friendly packaging, for clothing industries to stop fast fashion trends, for food industries to find ways to produce fewer greenhouse gases, and even for construction companies to only use sustainable and recycled materials.

The spa industry has the ability to make multiple changes that help lower each spa’s individual carbon footprint. Some of the key ways that spas can be more sustainable are reducing waste, using eco-friendly lighting, having energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, installing low-flow faucets and showerheads, and using eco-friendly linens and spa products.  Certainly, this list goes on as we continue to learn more about environmental impacts, but implementing even one of these things can make a big difference.

As climate change continues to decline many brands, spas, and communities that tailor to the spa industry have embraced sustainable practices. A couple of examples are Eminence Organic Skincare and EmerginC. Eminence practices biodynamic farming uses wind and solar energy and plants a tree for every product sold. The EmerginC corporate office runs on wind power, plants a viable, indigenous tree in a non-harvest location for every retail-sized product sold, and packages their products in glass jars and biodegradable bottles.  Relative to Spas, Resorts, and Residential Communities, the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort and Lake Nona Wellness Community are examples of establishments focused on health and well-being by providing a wellness environment. They use sustainable skincare brands, serve clean and locally sourced foods, and offer fitness programs, spa treatments, and premier anti-aging and total wellness practices.

Forward-thinking companies, resorts, spas, and communities such as these are playing an important role in the effort to move the needle with sustainable initiatives and are an inspiration, hopefully motivating others to do the same and help advance a healthier environment and save our planet.

By: MacKenzie Sommers, Florida Spa & Wellness Association Intern