3 simple tips to help make your therapy practice a little greener…

Our 2019 FHT Member Survey showed that more than half of FHT members (52%) already use sustainable and environmentally friendly products. For others wanting to take some steps to join this positive movement, we hope you find the following tips useful (the following excerpt was originally published in International Therapist, Issue 128, Spring 2019).  

Energy matters 

When it comes to conserving energy, there are a few areas worth considering, such as how this energy is sourced, how you use it and how much you use.  

Green energy  
Green energy is produced from renewable sources that are naturally replenished, such as solar power, wind power, hydroelectric power, tidal power and biofuels. These are also considered green because they produce a smaller carbon footprint compared to non-renewable sources (for example oil, coal, gas and uranium). According to government research, renewable sources produced 29.3% of the UK’s electricity in 2017, which was a record high (DBEIS, 2018). Green energy tariffs are also becoming more competitive, which is potentially due to the public’s growing support for renewable energy (85%) and concern about climate change (74%) (DBEIS, 2018). If you are looking to switch to a green supplier, check the current tariffs available and keep an eye out for some of the smaller providers, as these may be offering deals that compete favourably against the more mainstream suppliers. 

Lightbulb moment 
For any electric lighting in your salon or clinic, using energy-efficient lightbulbs is a key way to save both energy and money. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are considered the best option, as they use 75 to 80% less electricity than traditional lightbulbs and last up to 10 times longer. If you are using spotlights or dimmable lights, then LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs are a better choice. 

Brands with integrity 

If you are in the process of reviewing which skincare range to stock, sales in certified organic, natural and vegan products are reaching an all-time high. Conscious consumers are seeking a holistic approach to their beauty and personal care routines, using products that align with their ethical and environmental values. If you’re concerned that natural or organic products may not perform as well as the big beauty brands, SAC highlighted this in its 2018 market report: ‘In the past, there have been misconceptions about the sophistication of organic vs. conventional beauty, but the idea of having to choose between efficacy and ethics has changed dramatically. The range of high-performance organic formulas now on offer deliver results-driven beauty without asking consumers to sacrifice their values.’ 

Houseplants for health 

Houseplants not only help to improve air quality by trapping and removing pollutants, an article published on the Royal Horticultural Society’s website highlights that these leafy allies offer a range of psychological and physical health benefits too (RHS, 2019). 

Studies have shown that in terms of mental wellbeing, indoor plants can help to improve mood, reduce stress levels and increase productivity at work, while on a physical level, they can help to reduce blood pressure, fatigue and headaches and improve breathing problems (created by indoor air quality). Five easy-to-grow houseplants that are recommended by the RHS to improve air quality are:  
 
1 Madagascar dragon tree (Dracaena marginata)  
2 Indian rubber tree, rubber plant (Ficus elastica)  
3 English ivy, common ivy (Hedera helix)  
4 Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis)  
5 Mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata). 

For more tips… 

See our Green Salon article, published in the Spring 2019 issue of International Therapist magazine. Please note this article was published prior to COVID-19 and we fully appreciate that government guidelines from various countries currently require therapists to use, for example, disposable/single use items such as Type II face masks. Hopefully in time we will all be able to resume greener practices to help protect our planet but for now, it is important that we all follow government guidelines to help protect our clients’ safety.  

Do you have green tips that you’d like to share with other members?  

Send these to Leanne Sheill at lsheill@fht.org.uk so that we can share these in International Therapist magazine. 

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