• Louise

Minimising consumption in the treatment room

Thanks to David Attenborough the world’s attention is on reducing our plastic and really looking at how we treat our planet. Reduce, reuse and recycle the rules we used to live by are now trendy and that is only a plus for our environment. Maybe then it is time to think about how we operate in our treatment rooms as it will trickle down with clients wanting to know how our business is moving towards sustainability.

Washing is every therapists chore day in and day out so how do we make this more eco-friendly? Towels need to be washed and changed between every client - there is no getting away from it. First thing I have done to reduce washing is to use sarongs when treating my clients, they are much lighter and nicer to use in treatment and less bulky than towels so cut the washing pile in half. Secondly switch to an eco-friendly detergent that doesn’t have the harsh chemicals in then many mainstream ones do and use organic white wine vinegar as fabric softener it works wonders and doesn’t leave a residual smell.

Try and change things that you are using every day or think about ways to dispose of them better, for example after I do a lava shell massage the shells are cleaned and reused for the next client and I compost the inner rather than putting it into the usual waste bin. Or I order recycled paper to print my consultation forms onto, slightly more expensive but when you bulk buy it is nominal. With climate change becoming huge on everyone’s agenda the choices we have for things is so much better than it was a decade ago. My recycled paper is white not the murky grey colour which was all I could source until recently.

Buy quality that lasts, it rings through that you get what you pay for. If you buy towels that cost you £2.99 then do not think they will last you too long in treatments. Many times it can be a false economy as you spend more repurchasing cheaper items than if you had paid more for one set in the first place. The same can definitely be said of oils, if you buy cheap they are likely adulterated or synthetic.

Choose organic for your raw materials such as carrier oils and essential oils. I don’t suggest you go out and replace everything now but when something runs out vow to replace it with an organic version. This means a better growing practice with no pesticides helping the planet. The more we demand organic product the more that must be farmed that way so it is a knock on effect.

I think it is important to take a step back at your practice and make adjustments as and where you can, every little helps and then you are set up to answer client’s questions or to use the fact that you are moving more eco-friendly in your marketing. The public still have the same expectations of small businesses such as ourselves to mass market leaders so we need to match their expectations.

In summary

1. Look at your electric supplier – can you change to a renewable energy company for your place of work?

2. Use Sarongs over Towels and switch to an eco-friendly washing detergent.

3. Use recycled paper for all your consultation forms

4. Where you can compost including shredding of paper, materials from treatment etc.

5. Use aluminium or glass vessels to mix in or to give to clients as home treatments.

6. Choose organic where you can.

7. If you create too much of a blend for a client and it isn’t used in treatment then give them the rest in a take home glass vial or similar.

8. Choose local suppliers so that the carbon footprint of your materials is less.

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